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How can I map a String to a function in Java?

Currently, I have a bunch of Java classes that implement a Processor interface, meaning they all have a processRequest(String key) method. The idea is that each class has a few (say, <10) member ...

Currently, I have a bunch of Java classes that implement a Processor interface, meaning they all have a processRequest(String key) method. The idea is that each class has a few (say, <10) member Strings, and each of those maps to a method in that class via the processRequest method, like so:

class FooProcessor implements Processor
{
    String key1 = "abc";
    String key2 = "def";
    String key3 = "ghi";
    // and so on...

    String processRequest(String key)
    {
        String toReturn = null;
        if (key1.equals(key)) toReturn = method1();
        else if (key2.equals(key)) toReturn = method2();
        else if (key3.equals(key)) toReturn = method3();
        // and so on...

        return toReturn;
    }

    String method1() { // do stuff }
    String method2() { // do other stuff }
    String method3() { // do other other stuff }
    // and so on...
}

You get the idea.

This was working fine for me, but now I need a runtime-accessible mapping from key to function; not every function actually returns a String (some return void) and I need to dynamically access the return type (using reflection) of each function in each class that there’s a key for. I already have a manager that knows about all the keys, but not the mapping from key to function.

My first instinct was to replace this mapping using if-else statements with a Map<String, Function>, like I could do in Javascript. But, Java doesn’t support first-class functions so I’m out of luck there. I could probably dig up a third-party library that lets me work with first-class functions, but I haven’t seen any yet, and I doubt that I need an entire new library.

I also thought of putting these String keys into an array and using reflection to invoke the methods by name, but I see two downsides to this method:

  • My keys would have to be named the same as the method – or be named in a particular, consistent way so that it’s easy to map them to the method name.
  • This seems WAY slower than the if-else statements I have right now. Efficiency is something of a concern because these methods will tend to get called pretty frequently, and I want to minimize unnecessary overhead.

TL; DR: I’m looking for a clean, minimal-overhead way to map a String to some sort of a Function object that I can invoke and call (something like) getReturnType() on. I don’t especially mind using a 3rd-party library if it really fits my needs. I also don’t mind using reflection, though I would strongly prefer to avoid using reflection every single time I do a method lookup – maybe using some caching strategy that combines the Map with reflection.

Thoughts on a good way to get what I want? Cheers!

Answer

Couldn’t you do String to Method? Then you can cache the methods you need to execute.

Source: stackoverflow
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