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Groovy 3 – Variables

Variables are placeholders.

What do I mean by this?

If you remember in math if you do something like x = 1 and then you write something like  1 + x , that means you can put instead of x1, so we can write: 1+ 1.

The same principle is applied in  Groovy.

Now, in groovy to use a variable we need to declare it.

Declaring Variables:

The classic and most used way to declare a variable is like so:

def variable_name  = SomeValueHere

– here we use the key word def, which stands for definition.

– variable_name, this is just a name you give to a variable, it is also known as the variable identifier.

1  ) There are some rules that should be respected when giving variable names.

A variable name can not start with a number, like def 6x = 1

If you do that, an error like bellow it will be displayed by the console

Error: Error parsing script

Error parsing expression: startup failed: Script2.groovy: 4: unexpected token: def

2 ) Variable names can start with a letter, a dollar sign and also an underscore:

Examples of valid variable names:

def name

def _item

def with_underscore

def $dollarStart

Examples of Invalid Variable Names:

def  3tier

def  x+y

def  x#y

As a side note I like to name my variables like var_SomeName  , I find it much easier to read through the code later on and spot where I have used variables.

3 )  the sign =

– this is called the assignment operator and what it does is to assign  a value to the variable.

So if you do def x = 10 , it is saying put the integer 10 into the variable named x

Now there are some other ways we can define variables, that approach more of the static style of programming languages like JAVA.

For example we can do something like:

Integer x = 10;

And what this means is that we are specifically defining the type of data that we want to keep in our variable.

In this case we are saying variable name x will hold only Integer numbers.

Before, when we used def key word, to define a variable, that allows the Groovy engine to determine at run-time the type of the variable base on what value it holds.

This is called dynamic typing.

How and what kind of data can be put into a variable?

Well, anything can be stored into a variable: text , a single characters, numbers or Boolean values.

Lets see some examples

def var_A = “Some Text”

def var_B = “c”

def var_C = 11

def var_D = true // true is a Boolean value

Notice 1 thing here text(String) is written encapsulated in ” ” or ‘ ‘ 

So if We write “1”  and 1, the two are not the same, first time we have a string that happens to be 1 and the second time we have the number 1 that we can use in mathematical operations.

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