Strings are not Lists. In the JVM java.lang.String does not implement java.util.List.
Arrays are not Lists. In the JVM arrays and java.util.List are quite different. In Groovy we support both as different types to ensure we interoperate cleanly with Java code, though we try wherever possible to make them interchangable and appear polymorphic.
Maps override the dot operator, so myMap.size will return null unless you have a value for map[size]. Use map.size() instead.
In map literals, all keys are interpreted as strings by default! If you want to use a variable or other literal as a key, use parentheses like so: myMap = [(var1):val, (var2):val]