2009/04/15 - Apache HiveMind has been retired.

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Using Groovy to Define Modules

HiveMind's XML format is intentionally designed as a static (with the exception of the Ant style properties called substitution symbols) descriptive format. Yet, in some situations it would be nice to be able to specify the HiveMind module descriptors in more dynamic and expressive ways. Groovy to the rescue.

In the following we will take a look at how the calculator example module can be expressed using a Groovy script. We will also go through the steps required to get module descriptors defined in Groovy loaded into the Registry.

Module Descriptor in Groovy

import hivemind.examples.*
import hivemind.examples.impl.*

def addSimpleServiceWithLogging(id, interfaceClass) {
	interfaceName = interfaceClass.name
	processor.servicePoint(id:id, interface:interfaceName) {
		lastDotIdx = interfaceName.lastIndexOf('.')
		createInstance(class:interfaceName.substring(0, lastDotIdx) + '.impl' +
			interfaceName.substring(lastDotIdx) + 'Impl')

processor.module(id:'hivemind.examples', version:'1.0.0') {

	addSimpleServiceWithLogging('Adder', Adder.class)
	addSimpleServiceWithLogging('Subtracter', Subtracter.class)
	addSimpleServiceWithLogging('Multiplier', Multiplier.class)
	addSimpleServiceWithLogging('Divider', Divider.class)

	servicePoint(id:'Calculator', interface:Calculator.class.name) {
		invokeFactory {

At first glance this looks very different from a standard XML module descriptor. But if you take a closer look you will notice that the main differences stem from the dynamic aspects which have been introduced. Without these the module descriptor would actually look very much alike its XML equivalent.

There are a few important things you should know when writing Groovy module descriptors:

  • HiveMind binds the variable processor to the script, which is the GroovyMarkup builder. You can only use it to define one module descriptor per script.
  • The XML descriptor elements correspond to methods and the element attributes correspond to method parameters. Instead of the hyphened element and attribute names we have corresponding camelCased identifiers (e.g. servicePoint instead of <service-point>).

Setting up the Registry

package hivemind.examples;

import java.util.Locale;

import org.apache.hivemind.*;
import org.apache.hivemind.impl.*;
import org.apache.hivemind.lib.groovy.GroovyModuleDescriptorProvider;
import org.apache.hivemind.util.ClasspathResource;

public class Main
    public static void main(String[] args)
        double arg0 = Double.parseDouble(args[0]);
        double arg1 = Double.parseDouble(args[1]);

        RegistryBuilder builder = new RegistryBuilder();

        // we have to add the default provider to load HiveMind's own modules

        ClassResolver resolver = new DefaultClassResolver();
        Resource groovyScript = new ClasspathResource(resolver,

        // now we add a Groovy provider to load our Groovy script
        builder.addModuleDescriptorProvider(new GroovyModuleDescriptorProvider(resolver,

        Registry registry = builder.constructRegistry(Locale.getDefault());

        Calculator calculator = (Calculator) registry.getService(Calculator.class);

        System.out.println("Inputs:   " + arg0 + " and " + arg1);
        System.out.println("Add:      " + calculator.add(arg0, arg1));
        System.out.println("Subtract: " + calculator.subtract(arg0, arg1));
        System.out.println("Multiply: " + calculator.multiply(arg0, arg1));
        System.out.println("Divide:   " + calculator.divide(arg0, arg1));


As you can see there is slightly more work involved in setting up the Registry when using Groovy module descriptors. The RegistryBuilder must be instantiated manually and the ModuleDescriptorProvider instances providing the module descriptors must be registered with it prior to the Registry can be built. The Groovy specific provider is initialized with a single Resource or a List of Resources (see GroovyModuleDescriptorProvider).