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ExpandoMetaClass - Runtime MetaClass Analysis

At runtime it is often useful to know what other methods or properties exist at the time the method is executed. To this end ExpandoMetaClass provides the following methods as of this writing:

  • getMetaMethod
  • hasMetaMethod
  • getMetaProperty
  • hasMetaProperty

Why can't you just use reflection? Well because Groovy is different, it has the methods that are "real" methods and methods that are available only at runtime. These are sometimes (but not always) represented as MetaMethods. The MetaMethods tell you what methods are available at runtime, thus your code can adapt.

This is of particular use when overriding invokeMethod, getProperty and/or setProperty for example:

Here we are using the getMetaMethod method to obtain a reference to a method that may or may not exist. If it doesn't exist the getMetaMethod method will return null and the code can adapt to this fact.

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