5.18. Using a Lazy Map

Problem

You need a Map that can populate a value when its corresponding key is requested.

Solution

Decorate a Map with LazyMap. Attempting to retrieve a value with a key that is not in a Map decorated with LazyMap will trigger the creation of a value by a Transformer associated with this LazyMap. The following example decorates a HashMap with a Transformer that reverses strings; when a key is requested, a value is created and put into the Map using this Transformer:

import java.util.*;
import org.apache.commons.collections.Transformer;
import org.apache.commons.collections.map.LazyMap;
import org.apache.commons.lang.StringUtils;

// Create a Transformer to reverse strings - defined below
Transformer reverseString = new Transformer( ) {
    public Object transform( Object object ) {
        String name = (String) object;
        String reverse = StringUtils.reverse( name );
        return reverse;
    }
}

// Create a LazyMap called lazyNames, which uses the above Transformer
Map names = new HashMap( );
Map lazyNames = LazyMap.decorate( names, reverseString );

// Get and print two names
String name = (String) lazyNames.get( "Thomas" );
System.out.println( "Key: Thomas, Value: " + name );

name = (String) lazyNames.get( "Susan" );
System.out.println( "Key: Susan, Value: " + name );

Whenever get( ) is called, the decorated Map passes the requested key to a Transformer, and, in this case, a reversed string is put into a Map as a value. The previous example requests two strings and prints the following ...

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