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Greach 2014 - Metaprogramming with groovy


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Slides from my talk at Greach 2014:
"Groovy is a dynamic language that provides different types of metaprogramming techniques. In this talk we’ll mainly see runtime metaprogramming. I’ll explain Groovy Meta-Object-Protocol (MOP), the metaclass, how to intercept method calls, how to deal with method missing and property missing, the use of mixins and categories. All of these topics will be explained with examples in order to understand them.
Also, I’ll talk a little bit about compile-time metaprogramming with AST Transformations. AST Transformations provide a wonderful way of manipulating code at compile time via modifications of the Abstract Syntax Tree. We’ll see a basic but powerful example of what we can do with AST transformations."

The code is available at:

Published in: Technology

Greach 2014 - Metaprogramming with groovy

  1. 1. IvAn LOpez MartIn @ilopmar Metaprogramming with Groovy
  2. 2. Iván Lopez Martín @ilopmar I work at Kaleidos Using Groovy/Grails since 4 years Creator of Developed some Grails plugins: Postgreslq-Extensions, Slug-Generator, Ducksboard-API,... Usual Suspect of Madrid-GUG (Groovy User Group) Who am I? 2/54
  3. 3. - A dynamic language like Groovy allows to "delay" to runtime some checks that are usually performed during the compilation. - Add new properties, methods and behaviour during runtime. - Wide range of applicability: - DSLs - Builders - Advanced logging, tracing, debugging & profiling - Allow organize the codebase better - That's why we can talk about Metaprogramming in Groovy. Groovy is Dynamic 3/54
  4. 4. What is Metaprogramming?
  5. 5. From Wikipedia: Metaprogramming is the writing of computer programs that write or manipulate other programs (or themselves) as their data, or that do part of the work at compile time that would otherwise be done at runtime. “Writing code that writes code” What is Metaprogramming? 5/54
  6. 6. Runtime Metaprogramming
  7. 7. - Groovy provides this capability through the Meta-Object Protocol (MOP). - We can use MOP to invoke methods dynamically and also synthesize classes and methods on the fly. Runtime Metaprogramming 7/54
  8. 8. Groovy Groovy Java Java MOP What is the Meta Object Protocol (MOP)? 8/54
  9. 9. Intercepting methods using MOP
  10. 10. - Classes compiled by Groovy implements GroovyObject interface. - We can implement GroovyInterceptable to hook into the execution process. - When implementing invokeMethod(), it is called for every method (existing and nonexisting). Groovy Interceptable 10/54
  11. 11. GroovyInterceptable example 11/54
  12. 12. GroovyInterceptable example (II) 12/54
  13. 13. - Groovy maintains a meta class of type MetaClass for each class. - Maintains a collection of all methods and properties of A. - If we can't modify the class source code or if it's a Java class we can modify the meta-class. - We can intercept methods by implementing the invokeMethod() method on the MetaClass. Intercepting methods using MetaClass 13/54
  14. 14. MetaClass example 14/54
  15. 15. MOP Method Injection
  16. 16. - In Groovy we can “open” a class at any time. - Method Injection at code-writing time, we know the names of methods we want to add. - Different techniques: - MetaClass - Categories - Extensions - Mixins MOP Method Injection 16/54
  17. 17. - MetaClassImpl: Default meta class, it's used in the vast majority of case. - ExpandoMetaClass: allow the addition or replacement of methods, properties and constructors on the fly. - ProxyMetaClass: Can decorate a meta class with interception capabilities. - Other meta classes used internally and for testing. MetaClass 17/54
  18. 18. Adding methods using MetaClass 18/54
  19. 19. Adding properties using MetaClass 19/54 * Note: This is only true for Groovy. In Grails all MetaClass are ExpandoMetaClass. Thank you Burt Beckwith for the clarification
  20. 20. Adding constructor using MetaClass 20/54
  21. 21. Overriding methods using MetaClass 21/54
  22. 22. Overriding methods using MetaClass 22/54
  23. 23. - Changes made to a MetaClass are “persistent” and hard to revert. - Categories are useful to change the meta class in a confined small piece of code. - A category can alter a class’ MetaClass. - The MOP is modified in the closure and after the closure execution is reset to its old state. - Category classes are no special. Categories 23/54
  24. 24. Categories example
  25. 25. Categories example (II) 25/54
  26. 26. Categories example (II) 26/54
  27. 27. Categories example (II) 27/54
  28. 28. - JAR file with classes that provide extra methods to other classes. - It also has to contain a meta-information file - Add the JAR to the classpath to enhance the classes. - The extension methods needs to be public and static. Extension modules 28/54
  29. 29. Extension modules example 29/54
  30. 30. - A mixin allow “bring in” or “mix in” implementations from multiple classes. - Groovy first call the mixed-in class. - Mix multiple classes. The last added mixin takes precedence. - Override a method of a previous Mixin but not methods in the meta class. - Mixins cannot easily be un-done. Mixins 30/54
  31. 31. Mixins example 31/54
  32. 32. MOP Method Synthesis
  33. 33. - Dynamically figure out the behaviour for methods upon invocation. - A synthesized method may not exist as a separate method until we call it. - invokeMethod, methodMissing and propertyMissing. - “Intercept, Cache, Invoke” pattern. MOP Method Synthesis 33/54
  34. 34. Check for methods and properties 34/54
  35. 35. MOP Instances Synthesis 35/54
  36. 36. MethodMissing example 36/54
  37. 37. MethodMissing example 37/54
  38. 38. MethodMissing example 38/54
  39. 39. Compile-time Metaprogramming
  40. 40. - Advanced feature. - Analyze and modify a program’sstructure at compile time. - Cross-cutting features: - Inspect classes for thread safety - Log messages - Perform pre- and postcheck operations all without explicitly modifying the source code. - We write code that generates bytecode or gets involved during the bytecode generation. Compile-time Metaprogramming 40/54
  41. 41. - AST: Abstract Syntax Tree - During compilation the AST is transformed - Hook into different phases to change the final byte-code. - Initialization, Parsing, Conversion, Semantic analysis, Canonicalization, Instruction selection, Class generation, Output, Finalization. AST and Compilation 41/54
  42. 42. - Groovy provides out-of-the-box a lot of AST Transformations - @EqualsAndHashCode, @ToString, @TuppleConstructor, @Canonical, @Grab, @Immutable, @Delegate, @Singleton, @Category, @Log4j, @CompileStatic, @TypeChecked, @Synchronized... Groovy AST Transformations 42/54
  43. 43. Global AST Transformations
  44. 44. - There's no need to annotate anything. - Applied to every single source unit during compilation. - Can be applied to any phase in the compilation. - Need a metadata file into the JAR file (META-INF/services/org.codehaus.groovy.transform. ASTTransformation) - Grails uses Global Transformations intensively for example in GORM. Global AST Transformations 44/54
  45. 45. Local AST Transformations
  46. 46. - Annotate the code and only applied to that code. - Easy to debug. - No need to create metadata file in a jar. - Steps: Define an interface, Define the AST transformation, Enjoy! Local AST Transformations 46/54
  47. 47. Local AST Transformation example 47/54
  48. 48. Local AST Transformation example
  49. 49. Local AST Transformation example
  50. 50. - Most of us are not Groovy Commiters, so how do we create the necessary nodes for our AST Transformation. - Check de documentation: .html - Use an IDE - Use GroovyConsole and open Groovy AST Browser (CTRL + T) Creating AST nodes. What? 50/54
  51. 51. - Yes. We can use AstBuilder - buildFromSpec: Provides a DSL for the ClassNode objects - buildFromString: Creates the AST nodes from a String with the code. - buildFromCode: We write directly the source code and the builder returns the AST. Is there an easy way? 51/54
  52. 52. Recap: Why we should use all of this?
  53. 53. - Groovy provides meta-programming features out-of-the-box, it's a pity not using them. - Metaprogramming is easy to use and it's very powerful. - We can write better code. - We can add a lot of behaviour to our code in an easy way. - We're Groovy developers and we need to take advantage of all its power. - Because, Groovy it's groovy. Why we should use all of this? 53/54
  54. 54. http://lopezivan.blogspot.com @ilopmar@ilopmar Iván López MartínIván López Martín Talk Survey:Talk Survey: Thank you!