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From Thierry Hanser <>
Subject RE: Failing to change the value of a Java variable from wihtin a Groovy script (potential issue?)
Date Tue, 05 Apr 2016 16:23:30 GMT
Thank you for your explanations Jochen.

Your assumption is correct except that I think you meant to say that *The subsequent "println
'2 = ' + x" will then get the value property instead of asking for the binding.* since the
value ('one') is the one from the unchanged variable/property 'x'.

I am confused by the lack of symmetry in the handling of the binding/properties value.

"print x" in a script will call getX() (if available) whereas "x = 'two'" will call setProperty()
which will add 'x' (if not present) to the binding but will not subsequently call setX().
As a result when you use the value of a property 'x' in a script you are guaranteed to call
getX() but if you assign a value to 'x' you are not guaranteed that setX() is called !

This dissymmetry seems odd to me (and obviously leads to unexpected behaviour).

Note that without static compilation the same dissymmetry is observed, however for some reason
the property 'x' is then properly updated but still without calling setX()

Really confusing to me !!!

I understand there are issues with the CompileStatic option. Do we know what level of prioritization
are these issues in the bigger Groovy roadmap?

Thanks a lot,



Groovy script:

"println '1 = ' + x; x = 'two'; println binding.variables;  println '2 = ' + x\n";

With static compilation:

init x: one
Getting x : one
1 = one
Setting property : x = two
Getting x : one
2 = one

Without static compilation:

init x: one
Getting x : one
1 = one
Setting property : x = two
2 = two


public abstract class JavaScriptDemo extends Script
    public String x;

    public JavaScriptDemo()
                System.out.println("init x: " + x);

    public Object process(Closure code)
        System.out.println("Processing with x : " + x);

    public void setX(String text)
        System.out.println("Setting x : "  + x);
        x = text;

    public String getX()
        System.out.println("Getting x : "  + x);
        return x;

        public void setProperty(String property, Object value)
        System.out.println("Setting property : "  + property + " = " + value);
        super.setProperty(property, value);

     * Demo main
     * @param args
     * @throws Throwable
    public static void main(String...args) throws Throwable
                // Compilation configuration
                CompilerConfiguration configuration = new CompilerConfiguration();
                //configuration.addCompilationCustomizers(new ASTTransformationCustomizer(CompileStatic.class));
                GroovyShell shell = new GroovyShell(JavaScriptDemo.class.getClassLoader(),

                // source code
                String scriptSource= "println '1 = ' + x; x = 'two'; println binding.variables;
 println '2 = ' + x\n";

                // compile the source code and run the compiled script
                JavaScriptDemo compiledScript = (JavaScriptDemo)shell.parse(scriptSource);;

-----Original Message-----
From: Jochen Theodorou []
Sent: 09 March 2016 13:37
Subject: Re: Failing to change the value of a Java variable from wihtin a Groovy script (potential

On 08.03.2016 17:31, Thierry Hanser wrote:
> *In Groovy*
> println '1 = ' + x
> x = 'two'
> println '2 = ' + x
> *Output*:
> init x: one <- initial value assignement OK
> 1 = one <- successfully accessing 'x' from within the compiled script
> OK
>                  the Groovy script has picked up the value of the Java
> variable;
>                  the implicit getX() has been called
> 2 = one<- should be 'two' as per Groovy code (second line)
>                  but is unchanged ???

I think I know the problem...

When using a normal script your code above would have failed, because the binding does not
contain x. But what exactly happens if the binding does not contain x? Groovy will ask the
script class for a property of that name. Just to point it out very much: The property lookup
is done only after binding is asked!

What happens in the set case then? The set case will always set a variable in the binding!

This explaines why for you "println '1 = ' + x " gives "one", but the important part is that
then "x = 'two'" will leave that property untouched and goes directly to the binding. The
subsequent "println '2 = ' + x" will then get the value from the binding instead of asking
for the property.

The solution would be to overwrite setProperty to first try setting the property on the script
class, basically: a try with this.getMetaClass().setProperty(this, property, newValue); and
a super.setProperty in the exception case.

And it seems the static compiler has big issues with handling a script base class

bye Jochen
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