ataylor ataylor - 9 days ago 3x
Groovy Question

How does the Groovy in operator work?

The Groovy "in" operator seems to mean different things in different cases. Sometimes

x in y
and sometimes it seems to call

How does Groovy know which one to call? Is there a particular class or set of classes that Groovy knows about which use the .contains method? Or is the behavior triggered by the existence of a method on one of the objects? Are there any cases where the in operator gets changed into something else entirely?


I did some experimentation and it looks like the in operator is based on the isCase method only as demonstrated by the following code

class MyList extends ArrayList {
    boolean isCase(Object val) {
        return val == 66

def myList = new MyList()
myList << 55
55 in myList // Returns false but myList.contains(55) returns true     
66 in myList // Returns true but myList.contains(66) returns false

For the JDK collection classes I guess it just seems like the in operator is based on contains() because isCase() calls contains() for those classes.