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  • 1. Practical Domain-Specific Languages with Groovy All the techniques to create your own DSLs Guillaume Laforge Head of Groovy Development Copyright 2009 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 2. Guillaume Laforge • Groovy Project Manager • JSR-241 Spec Lead • Head of Groovy Development at SpringSource • Initiator of the Grails framework • Co-author of Groovy in Action • Speaker: JavaOne, QCon, JavaZone, Sun TechDays, Devoxx, The Spring Experience, JAX, Dynamic Language World, IJTC, and more... 2 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 3. A few words about Groovy • Groovy is a dynamic language for the JVM – with a Meta Object Protocol – compiles directly to bytecode, seamless Java interop • Open Source ASL 2 project hosted at Codehaus • Relaxed grammar derived from Java 5 – + borrowed good ideas from Ruby, Python, Smalltalk • Fast... for a dynlang on the JVM • Closures, properties, optional typing, BigDecimal by default, nice wrapper APIs, and more... 3 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 4. a d n e g A • The context and the usual issues we face • Some real-life examples of Domain-Specific Languages • Groovy’s DSL capabilities • Integrating a DSL in your application • Considerations to remember when designing your own DSL 4 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 5. The context
  • 6. Subject Matter Experts, Business analysts...
  • 7. Developer producing LOLCODE HAI CAN HAS STDIO? I HAS A VAR IM IN YR LOOP UP VAR!!1 VISIBLE VAR IZ VAR BIGGER THAN 10? KTHXBYE IM OUTTA YR LOOP KTHXBYE
  • 8. Lots of languages...
  • 9. And in the end... ...nobody understands each other
  • 10. Expressing requirements... 10 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 11. DSL: a potential solution? • Use a more expressive language than a general purpose one • Share a common metaphore of understanding between developers and subject matter experts • Have domain experts help with the design of the business logic of an application • Avoid cluttering business code with too much boilerplate technical code • Cleanly separate business logic from application code • Let business rules have their own lifecycle 11 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 12. Towards more readibility (1) 12 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 13. Towards more readibility (1) 12 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 14. Towards more readibility (1) 20% 12 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 15. Towards more readibility (2) 13 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 16. Towards more readibility (2) 13 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 17. Towards more readibility (2) 80% 13 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 18. a d n e g A • The context and the usual issues we face • Some real-life examples of Domain-Specific Languages • Groovy’s DSL capabilities • Integrating a DSL in your application • Considerations to remember when designing your own DSL 14 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 19. A collection of DSLs • In our everyday life, we’re surrounded by DSLs – Technical dialects – Notations – Business languages 15 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 20. Technical dialects 16 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 21. SQL
  • 22. ^[w-.]+@([w-]){2,4}$ 18 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 23. Notations 19 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 24. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6
  • 25. L2 U F-1 B L2 F B -1 U L2
  • 26. Visual!
  • 27. Business languages 23 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 28. Real-life Groovy examples • Anti-malaria drug resistance simulation • Human Resources employee skills representation • Insurance policies risk calculation engine • Loan acceptance rules engine for a financial platform • Mathematica-like lingua for nuclear safety simulations • Market data feeds evolution scenarios • and more... 24 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 29. a d n e g A • The context and the usual issues we face • Some real-life examples of Domain-Specific Languages • Groovy’s DSL capabilities • Integrating a DSL in your application • Considerations to remember when designing your own DSL 25 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 30. A flexible & malleable syntax • No need to write full-blown classes, use scripts • Optional typing (def) – in scripts, you can even omit the def keyword • Native syntax constructs • Parentheses & semi-colons are optional • Named arguments • BigDecimal by default for decimal numbers • Closures for custom control structures • Operator overloading 26 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 31. Scripts vs classes • Hide all the boilerplate technical code – an end-user doesn’t need to know about classes – public class Rule { public static void main(String[] args) { System.out.println(“Hello”); } } – println “Hello” 27 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 32. Optional typing • No need to bother with types or even generics – unless you want to! • Imagine an interest rate lookup table method returning some generified type: –Rate<LoanType, Duration, BigDecimal>[] lookupTable() { ... } def table = lookupTable() • No need to repeat the horrible generics type info! 28 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 33. Native syntax constructs • Lists – [Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday] • Maps – [CA: ‘California’, TX: ‘Texas’] • Ranges – def bizDays = Monday..Friday – def allowedAge = 18..65 – You can create your own custom ranges 29 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 34. Optional parens & semis • Make statements and expressions look more like natural languages – move(left); – move left 30 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 35. Named arguments • In Groovy you can mix named and unnamed arguments for method parameters – named params are actually put in a map parameter – plus optional parens & semis • take 1.pill, of: Chloroquinine, after: 6.hours • Corresponds to a method signature like: –def take(Map m, MedicineQuantity mq) 31 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 36. BigDecimal by default • Main reason why financial institutions often decide to use Groovy for their business rules! – Although these days rounding issues are overrated! • Java vs Groovy for a simple interpolation equation • BigDecimal uMinusv = c.subtract(a); BigDecimal vMinusl = b.subtract(c); BigDecimal uMinusl = a.subtract(b); return e.multiply(uMinusv) .add(d.multiply(vMinusl)) .divide(uMinusl, 10, BigDecimal.ROUND_HALF_UP); • (d * (b - c) + e * (c - a)) / (a - b) 32 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 37. Custom control structures, thanks to closures • When closures are last, they can be put “out” of the parentheses surrounding parameters • unless (account.balance > 100.euros, { account.debit 100.euros }) • unless (account.balance > 100.euros) { account.debit 100.euros } • Signature def unless(boolean b, Closure c) 33 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 38. Operator overloading • Currency amounts a+b a.plus(b) a-b a.minus(b) –15.euros + 10.dollars a*b a.multiply(b) a/b a.divide(b) • Distance handling a%b a.modulo(b) –10.kilometers - 10.meters a ** b a.power(b) a|b a.or(b) • Workflow, concurrency a&b a.and(b) a^b a.xor(b) –taskA | taskB & taskC a[b] a.getAt(b) a << b a.leftShift(b) • Credit an account a >> b a.rightShift(b) –account << 10.dollars +a a.positive() account += 10.dollars -a a.negative() account.credit 10.dollars ~a a.bitwiseNegate() 34 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 39. Groovy’s dynamic heart: The MOP! MetaObject Protocol
  • 40. Groovy’s MOP • All the accesses to methods, properties, constructors, operators, etc. can be intercepted thanks to the MOP • While Java’s behavior is hard-wired at compile- time in the class • Groovy’s runtime behavior is adaptable at runtime through the metaclass. • Different hooks for changing the runtime behavior – GroovyObject, custom MetaClass implementation, categories, ExpandoMetaClass 36 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 41. GroovyObject • All instances of classes created in Groovy implement the GroovyObject interface: –getProperty(String name) –setProperty(String name, Object value) –invokeMethod(String name, Object[] params) –getMetaClass() –setMetaClass(MetaClass mc) • A GO can have “pretended” methods and properties 37 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 42. MetaClass • The core of Groovy’s MOP system –invokeConstructor() –invokeMethod() and invokeStaticMethod() –invokeMissingMethod() –getProperty() and setProperty() –getAttribute() and setAttribute() –respondsTo() and hasProperty() • MetaClasses can change the behavior of existing third-party classes — even from the JDK 38 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 43. ExpandoMetaClass • A DSL for MetaClasses! • MoneyAmount.metaClass.constructor = { ... } Number.metaClass.getDollars = { ... } Distance.metaClass.toMeters = { ... } Distance.metaClass.static.create = { ... } • To avoid repetition of Type.metaClass, you can pass a closure to metaClass { ... } • The delegate variable in closure represents the current instance, and it the default parameter 39 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 44. The Builder pattern
  • 45. The Groovy MarkupBuilder • def mkp = new MarkupBuilder() mkp.html { head { title “Groovy in Action” } body { div(width: ‘100’) { p(class: ‘para) { span “Best book ever!” } } } } 41 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 46. A builder for HR • softskills { ideas { capture 2 formulate 3 } ... } knowhow { languages { java 4 groovy 5 } ... } 42 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 47. A builder for HR • softskills { ideas { capture 2 formulate 3 } ... } knowhow { languages { java 4 groovy 5 } ... } 42 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 48. Builders • Builders are... – a mechanism for creating any tree-structered graph – the realization of the GoF builder pattern at the syntax level in Groovy – simply a clever use of chained method invocation, closures, parentheses omission, and use of the GroovyObject methods • Existing builders – XML, Object graph, Swing, Ant, JMX, and more... 43 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 49. The clever trick • GroovyObject#invokeMethod() is used to catch all non-existing method calls in the context of the builder • The nesting of closures visually shows the level of nesting / depth in the tree • builder.m1(attr1:1, attr2:2, { builder.m2(..., {...}) } becomes equivalent to builder.m1(attr1:1, attr2:2) { m2(...) {...} } thanks to parens omission 44 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 50. Adding properties to numbers • Three possible approaches – create a Category •a category is a kind of decorator for default MCs – create a custom MetaClass •a full-blown MC class to implement and to set on the POGO instance – use ExpandoMetaClass •friendlier DSL approach but with a catch 45 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 51. With a Category • class DistanceCategory { static Distance getMeters(Integer self) { new Distance(self, Unit.METERS) } } use(DistanceCategory) { 100.meters } • Interesting scope: thread-bound & lexical • But doesn’t work across the hierarchy of classes – ie. subclasses won’t benefit from the new property 46 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 52. With an ExpandoMetaClass • Number.metaClass.getMeters = {-> new Distance(delegate, Unit.METERS) } 100.meters • Works for the class hierarchy for POJOs, and a flag exists to make it work for POGOs too • But the catch is it’s really a global change, so beware EMC enhancements collisions 47 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 53. Compile-time metaprogramming • Groovy 1.6 introduced AST Transformations • Compile-time == No runtime performance penalty! Transformation 48 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 54. AST Transformations • Two kinds of transformations – Global transformations •applicable to all compilation units – Local transformations •applicable to marked program elements •using specific marker annotations 49 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 55. Example #1: @Singleton • Let’s revisit this evil (anti-)pattern public class Evil { ! public static final Evil instance = new Evil (); private Evil () {} Evil getInstance() { return instance; } } • In Groovy @Singleton class Evil {} ! • Also a “lazy” version @Singleton(lazy = true) class Evil {} ! 50 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 56. Example #2: @Delegate Not just for Managers • You can delegate to fields of your classes – class Employee { def doTheWork() { “done” } } class Manager { @Delegate Employee slave = new Employee() } def god = new Manager() assert god.doTheWork() == “done” • Damn manager who will get all the praiser... 51 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 57. Global transformations • Implement ASTTransformation • Annotate the transfo specifying a compilation phase • @GroovyASTTransformation(phase=CompilePhase.CONVERSION) public class MyTransformation implements ASTTransformation { public void visit(ASTNode[] nodes, SourceUnit unit) { ... } } • For discovery, create the file META-INF/services/ org.codehaus.groovy.transform.ASTTransformation • Add the fully qualified name of the class in that file 52 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 58. Local transformations • Same approach as Globale transformations • But you don’t need the META-INF file • Instead create an annotation to specify on which element the transformation should apply • @Retention(RetentionPolicy.SOURCE) @Target([ElementType.METHOD]) @GroovyASTTransformationClass( [quot;fqn.MyTransformationquot;]) public @interface WithLogging {...} 53 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 59. Example: the Spock framework • Changing the semantics of the original code • But keeping a valid Groovy syntax • @Speck class HelloSpock { def quot;can you figure out what I'm up to?quot;() { expect: name.size() == size where: name << [quot;Kirkquot;, quot;Spockquot;, quot;Scottyquot;] size << [4, 5, 6] } } 54 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 60. a d n e g A • The context and the usual issues we face • Some real-life examples of Domain-Specific Languages • Groovy’s DSL capabilities • Integrating a DSL in your application • Considerations to remember when designing your own DSL 55 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 61. Various integration mechanisms • Java 6’s javax.script.* APIs (aka JSR-223) • Spring’s language namespace • Groovy’s own mechanisms • But a key idea is to externalize those DSL programs – DSL programs can have their own lifecycle – no need to redeploy an application because of a rule change – business people won’t see the technical code 56 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 62. Java 6’s javax.script.* API • Groovy 1.6 provides its own implementation of the javax.script.* API • ScriptEngineManager mgr = new ScriptEngineManager(); ScriptEngine engine = mgr.getEngineByName(“Groovy”); String result = (String)engine.eval(“2+3”); 57 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 63. Spring’s lang namespace • POGOs (Plain Old Groovy Objects) can be pre- compiled as any POJO and used interchangeably with POJOs in a Spring application • But Groovy scripts & classes can be loaded at runtime through the <lang:groovy/> namespace and tag • Reloadable on change • Customizable through a custom MetaClass • <lang:groovy id=quot;eventsquot; script-source=quot;classpath:dsl/ eventsChart.groovyquot; customizer-ref=quot;eventsMetaClassquot; /> 58 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 64. Groovy’s own mechanisms • Eval – for evaluating simple expressions • GroovyShell – for more complex scripts and DSLs • GroovyClassLoader – the most powerful mechanism 59 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 65. Eval • Simple mechanism to evaluate math-like formulas • Eval.me ( ‘3*4’) Eval.x (1, ‘3*x + 4’) Eval.xy (1, 2, ‘x + y’) Eval.xyz(1, 2, 3, ‘x * y - z’) 60 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 66. GroovyShell • A Binding provides a context of execution – can implement lazy evaluation if needed • A base script class can be specified • def binding = new Binding() binding.mass = 22.3 binding.velocity = 10.6 def shell = new GroovyShell(binding) shell.evaluate(“mass * velocity ** 2 / 2”) 61 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 67. GroovyClassLoader • Most powerful mechanism – could also visit or change the AST – scripts & classes can be loaded from elsewhere – more control on compilation • GroovyClassLoader gcl = new GroovyClassLoader(); Class clazz = gcl.parseClass( new File(“f.groovy”)); GroovyObject instance = (GroovyObject)clazz.newInstance(); instance.setMetaClass(customMC); 62 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 68. Externalize business rules • Although Groovy DSLs can be embedded in normal Groovy classes, you should externalize them • Store them elsewhere – in a database, an XML file, etc. • Benefits – Business rules are not entangled in technical application code – Business rules can have their own lifecycle, without requiring application redeployments 63 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 69. a d n e g A • The context and the usual issues we face • Some real-life examples of Domain-Specific Languages • Groovy’s DSL capabilities • Integrating a DSL in your application • Considerations to remember when designing your own DSL 64 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 70. Start small, with key concepts Beware overengineering!
  • 71. Grow your language progressively
  • 72. Get your hands dirty Play with the end-users
  • 73. Let your DSL fly, it’s not yours, it’s theirs!
  • 74. Tight feedback loop Iterative process
  • 75. Stay humble. You can’t get it right the first time. Don’t design alone at your desk Involve the end users from the start
  • 76. Playing it safe in a sandbox
  • 77. Various levels of sandboxing • Groovy supports the usual Java Security Managers • Use metaprogramming tricks to prevent calling / instanciating certain classes • Create a special GroovyClassLoader AST code visitor to filter only the nodes of the AST you want to keep – ArithmeticShell in Groovy’s samples 72 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 78. Test, test, test! • Don’t just test for nominal cases – Explicitely test for errors! • Ensure end-users get meaninful error messages 73 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 79. a d n e g A • Summary • Questions & Answers 74 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 80. Summary • Groovy’s a great fit for Domain-Specific Languages – Malleable & flexible syntax – Full object-orientation • Metaprogramming capabilities – Runtime metaprogramming – Compile-time metaprogramming • Groovy’s very often used for mission-critical DSLs 75 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 81. GR8 Conference • If you wish to learn more about Groovy, Grails and Griffon, register for the GR8 Conference • A conference dedicated to Groovy, Grails, Griffon and other Groovy related technologies • Co-organized by SpringSource and the Danish JUG (Javagruppen) • Takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark, on May 18th and 19th • Use the code SPRING to get a discount ;-) 76 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 82. ? I kan haz my cheezburgr naw? Or do ya reely haz keshtionz?
  • 83. Appendix 78 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 84. • http://www.flickr.com/photos/wheatfields/420088151/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/therefromhere/518053737/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/romainguy/230416692/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/addictive_picasso/2874279971/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/huangjiahui/3127634297/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/25831000@N08/3064515804/sizes/o/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lanier67/3147696168/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ktb/4916063/sizes/o/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathonline/918128338/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinsteele/39300193/sizes/l/ • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brueghel-tower-of-babel.jpg • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Platypus.jpg • http://www.flickr.com/photos/joaomoura/2317171808/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/wiccked/132687067/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/xcbiker/386876546/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/pietel/152403711/sizes/o/ 79 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.
  • 85. • http://www.flickr.com/photos/forezt/192554677/sizes/o/ • http://keremkosaner.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/softwaredevelopment.gif • http://www.jouy.inra.fr • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ejpphoto/408101818/sizes/o/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/solaro/2127576608/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/biggreymare/2846899405/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/timsamoff/252370986/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/29738009@N08/2975466425/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/howie_berlin/180121635/sizes/o/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/yogi/1281980605/sizes/l/ • http://www.flickr.com/photos/dorseygraphics/1336468896/sizes/l/ 80 Copyright 2008 SpringSource. Copying, publishing or distributing without express written permission is prohibited.