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GeneratingJavaClasses

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Generating Java Classes

Sometimes it's not enough to be able to call Java classes from Ruby, embed Ruby via a scripting API, or implement Java interfaces or extend Java classes at runtime. There are many APIs and services that require you to have a real Java .class file on disk, callable from Java code, visible to Java compilers, and/or configurable in various types of configuration files. To participate in these services, you need a "real" Java class.

There are two mechanisms for accomplishing this.

Generating Java Classes at Runtime using become_java!

If you require 'jruby/core_ext', All Ruby classes gain a new method: become_java!. become_java! examines the class's methods and generates a real Java class for it. Subsequent instantiations of the Ruby class will actually be instances of that generated Java class, allowing it to show up to Java tools and be reflectively accessible by Java APIs.

Here's a simple example:

class Foo
  def some_method(arg)
    puts arg
  end

  def self.class_method
    puts 'in class method'
  end
end

If we call become_java! on this class, we get a java.lang.Class object representing the newly created class that will be used to create instances.

cls = Foo.become_java!
cls.declared_methods.each do |method|
  puts method.name
end
# =>
# public static void rubyobj.Foo.clinit(org.jruby.Ruby,org.jruby.RubyClass)
# public org.jruby.runtime.builtin.IRubyObject rubyobj.Foo.some_method(org.jruby.runtime.builtin.IRubyObject[])
# public static org.jruby.runtime.builtin.IRubyObject rubyobj.Foo.class_method()

The resulting Java class has an instance method named some_method and a static method named class_method.

Generating Java Classes Ahead-of-time

Starting with JRuby 1.5, the jrubyc command now has two new flags: --java and --javac. The --java flag generates .java source from Ruby scripts that have classes in them. --javac does that and also compiles the sources for you.

Let's take a simple example class:

 class Foo
   def bar(a, b)
     puts a + b
   end
 end

If you wanted to expose this as a Java class, you can just run jrubyc --java(c) to produce a class

    ~/jrubyc_demo ➔ jrubyc --javac my_foo.rb 
    Generating Java class Foo to Foo.java
    javac -d /Users/headius/jrubyc_demo -cp /Users/headius/projects/jruby/lib/jruby.jar:. Foo.java

You see here that jrubyc generates a .java file and then compiles it with the 'javac' command. Here's what the resulting class looks like, using javap:

    ~/jrubyc_demo ➔ javap Foo
    Compiled from "Foo.java"
    public class Foo extends org.jruby.RubyObject{
        public Foo();
        public java.lang.Object bar(java.lang.Object, java.lang.Object);
        static {};
    }

Normally, jrubyc --java(c) will include the complete source of your script in the compiled class, but often you may want to keep the source on disk or generate multiple classes that all come from the same file. To do this, add a java_require line (plus a require 'java' line to enable Java support in the Ruby code) that specifies what filename to load. The filename specified is loaded using normal Ruby 'require' semantics.

 require 'java'
 java_require 'my_foo'
 class Foo
   def bar(a,b)
     puts a + b
   end
 end

You'll notice that the "bar" method was generated with Object arguments and an Object return type, since no types were specified (this is Ruby, after all). But what if you want a specific Java signature? It's easy, just add a java_signature line:

 require 'java'
 java_require 'my_foo'
 class Foo
   java_signature 'void bar(int, int)'
   def bar(a,b)
     puts a + b
   end
 end

Now the bar method gets generated with int arguments and a void return type.

Static methods can be done basically like you'd do them in Ruby. Let's make bar static:

 require 'java'
 java_require 'my_foo'
 class Foo
   java_signature 'void bar(int, int)'
   def self.bar(a,b)
     puts a + b
   end
 end

And now add a "main" method:

 require 'java'
 java_require 'my_foo'
 class Foo
   java_signature 'void main(String[])'
   def self.main(args)
     bar(args[0], args[1])
   end

   java_signature 'void bar(int, int)'
   def self.bar(a,b)
     puts a + b
   end
 end

And now it's time to try running our little Java-class-written-in-Ruby:

 ~/jrubyc_demo ➔ java -cp YOURJRUBYLIBPATH/jruby.jar:. Foo 15 75
 1575

Woah, wait a minute. What happened here?

The answer is actually pretty simple. The "main" method takes an array of String, so the arguments here become the strings "15", and "75". Since "main" is implemented in Ruby, and calls "bar", which is also implemented in Ruby, those strings are passed on to the "bar" method...as Strings. The "bar" method is then happy to add them, which in Ruby means concatenation.

This example illustrates that while you can generate Java classes with all the usual static signatures, your Ruby code remains the same dynamic Ruby you've grown to love. But to close out this example, we'll modify "bar" to convert its arguments to Fixnums before adding them, to give us the numeric result:

 require 'java'
 java_require 'my_foo'
 class Foo
   java_signature 'void main(String[])'
   def self.main(args)
     bar(args[0], args[1])
   end

   java_signature 'void bar(int, int)'
   def self.bar(a,b)
     puts a.to_i + b.to_i
   end
 end

And now the result is as expected:

 ~/jrubyc_demo ➔ java -cp YOURJRUBYLIBPATH/jruby.jar:. Foo 15 75
 90

To put the Java class in a package, use java_package:

 require 'java'
 java_require 'my_foo'
 java_package 'com.example'

 class Foo; end

Java fields

If you want Java code to be able to access fields using reflection, you can declare them with java_field. For example:

require 'jruby/core_ext'

class Report
  java_field "java.util.ArrayList dataRecords"
  become_java!
end

report = Report.new
report.dataRecords = java.util.ArrayList.new
report.dataRecords.add(5)
puts report.dataRecords.size
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