Sunday, February 28, 2010

Revisit Jmx Groovy DSL - Using AstTransformation

In the previous blog entry, we created Jmx Charting DSL. Let visit some aspects of creating DSL using groovy.

In the previous blog example we created DSL using ExpandoMetaClass. Users will define the script starting with node jmx { }. With the use of ExpandoMetaClass we added the dynamic method which in turn delegated to class JmxClosureDelegate. Here is the snippet of the code.

static void runEngine(File dsl){
    Script dslScript = new GroovyShell().parse(dsl.text)
    dslScript.metaClass = createExpandoMetaClass(dslScript.class, {
      ExpandoMetaClass emc ->
        emc.jmx = {
          Closure cl ->
            cl.delegate = new JmxClosureDelegate()
            cl.resolveStrategy = Closure.DELEGATE_FIRST
            cl()
        }
    })
    dslScript.run()
   }
What we essentially did here:
  • Using GroovyShell it parses the script file passed as input.
  • Defines the ExpandoMetaClass and adds method by name "jmx" having closure as parameter.
So the script file you wrote gets a dynamic method injected into it using ExpandoMetaClass. This happens at runtime.

Getting rid of the Commas
The problem with creating methods with two arguments is that you have to specify commas between them. For example,

     server "nameofserver", {
          ...
     }
Undoubtedly commas clutter the langauge grammer. To get rid of the commas we used trick provided on Groovy users list.

//To avoid using "," between String and Closure argument 
  def methodMissing(String name, args) { 
    return [name, args[0]] 
  } 

Using AstTransformation
Now lets explore a different possibility. You can achieve similar result using AstTransformation at compile time. The goal remains the same and that is to add method with name "jmx" with closure parameter.

First we will define the annotation.

//import statements skipped for brevity
@Retention(RetentionPolicy.SOURCE)
@Target([ElementType.METHOD])
@GroovyASTTransformationClass(["info.kartikshah.jmx.ast.JmxDslTransformation"])
public @interface UseJmxDsl {}
Transformation Class

This transformation class needs to perform two activities:
  • Add method jmx(Closure cl) method
  • Invoke the script method being defined
We need to generate AST statements for following snippet of code.

     jmx = { 
          Closure cl -> 
            cl.delegate = new JmxClosureDelegate() 
            cl.resolveStrategy = Closure.DELEGATE_FIRST 
            cl() 
        } 
We will use AstBuilder's buildFromSpec option to generate it. (AstBuilders added with Groovy 1.7 definitely makes generating statement structure relatively easy and clutter free. Not to mention it is also an example of DSL added to the groovy language :-) )

@GroovyASTTransformation(phase = CompilePhase.SEMANTIC_ANALYSIS)
class JmxDslTransformation implements ASTTransformation {
  static int PUBLIC = 1
  static int STATIC = 8

  void visit(ASTNode[] astNodes, SourceUnit sourceUnit) {
    //Add method jmx(Closure cl)
    ClassNode declaringClass = astNodes[1].declaringClass
    MethodNode jmxMethod = makeMethod()
    declaringClass.addMethod(jmxMethod)

    //Insert method call inside run method of the script class
    MethodNode annotatedMethod = astNodes[1]
    List<MethodNode> allMethods = sourceUnit.AST?.classes*.methods.flatten()
    MethodNode runMethod = allMethods.find{ MethodNode method ->
      method.name == "run"
    }
    List existingStatements = runMethod.getCode().getStatements()
    existingStatements.add(0, createMethodCall(annotatedMethod))
  }

  Statement createMethodCall(MethodNode methodNode){
    def statementAst = new AstBuilder().buildFromSpec {
      expression{
         methodCall {
           variable "this"
           constant methodNode.name
           argumentList {}
         }
      }
    }
    Statement stmt = statementAst[0]
    stmt
  }

  MethodNode makeMethod() {
    def ast = new AstBuilder().buildFromSpec {
      method('jmx', PUBLIC | STATIC, Void.TYPE) {
        parameters {
          parameter 'cl': Closure.class
        }
        exceptions {}
        block {
          expression {
            binary {
              property {
                variable "cl"
                constant "delegate"
              }
              token "="
              constructorCall(JmxClosureDelegate.class) {
                argumentList()
              }
            }
          }
          expression {
            binary {
              property {
                variable "cl"
                constant "resolveStrategy"
              }
              token "="
              property {
                classExpression Closure
                constant "DELEGATE_FIRST"
              }
            }
          }
          expression {
            methodCall {
              variable "cl"
              constant "call"
              argumentList {}
            }
          }
        }
      }
    }
    MethodNode jmxMethod = ast[0]
    jmxMethod
  }
}
Why use AstTransformation?
The question is why one would want to use AstTransformation when you can add method during runtime. For the given scenario, it is correct that you want to stick with adding method runtime. But consider scenario where you want to "redefine" meaning of Groovy's syntax. For example like following imaginary script using Statement Labels to add more readability to your DSL syntax.

@info.kartikshah.jmx.ast.UseJmxDsl
runDsl () {
  jmx {
    setup:
      server "service:jmx:rmi://localhost/jndi/rmi://localhost:1090/jmxconnector"
      query "jboss.web:*"
      findAll "j2eeType=Servlet"

    draw:
    chart {
        chartType="Bar"
        attributes={m-> [m.loadTime, m.objectName.find("name=([^,]*)"){it[1]}]}
        labels=["Load Time per Servlet", "Servlet", "Time"]
        options=[false, true, true]
        windowTitle="JBoss Servlet Processing Time"
        width=1200
        height=700
        orientation="HORIZONTAL"
        refreshRate=5000
        show()
      }
  }
}
Spock Framework does similar twist by redefining meaning of existing construct.

With this type of language structure you will end up defining your own set of keywords, supporting parser and few AstTransformation to change the meaning of existing Groovy Syntax.


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