Default function arguments in Rust

Is it possible in Rust to create a function with a default argument?

fn add(a: int = 1, b: int = 2) { a + b }

Answers


No, it is not at present. I think it likely that it will eventually be implemented, but there’s no active work in this space at present.

The typical technique employed here is to use functions or methods with different names and signatures.


Since default arguments are not supported you can get a similar behavior using Option<T>

fn add(a: Option<i32>, b: Option<i32>) -> i32 {
    a.unwrap_or(1) + b.unwrap_or(2)
}

This accomplishes the objective of having the default value and the function coded only once (instead of in every call), but is of course a whole lot more to type out. The function call will look like add(None, None), which you may or may not like depending on your perspective.

If you see typing nothing in the argument list as the coder potentially forgetting to make a choice then the big advantage here is in explicitness; the caller is explicitly saying they want to go with your default value, and will get a compile error if they put nothing. Think of it as typing add(DefaultValue, DefaultValue).

You could also use a macro:

fn add(a: i32, b: i32) -> i32 {
    a + b
}

macro_rules! add {
    ($a: expr) => {
        add($a, 2)
    };
    () => {
        add(1, 2)
    };
}
assert_eq!(add!(), 3);
assert_eq!(add!(4), 6);

The big difference between the two solutions is that with "Option"-al arguments it is completely valid to write add(None, Some(4)), but with the macro pattern matching you cannot (this is similar to Python's default argument rules).

You could also use an "arguments" struct and the From/Into traits:

pub struct FooArgs {
    a: f64,
    b: i32,
}

impl Default for FooArgs {
    fn default() -> Self {
        FooArgs { a: 1.0, b: 1 }
    }
}

impl From<()> for FooArgs {
    fn from(_: ()) -> Self {
        Self::default()
    }
}

impl From<f64> for FooArgs {
    fn from(a: f64) -> Self {
        Self {
            a: a,
            ..Self::default()
        }
    }
}

impl From<i32> for FooArgs {
    fn from(b: i32) -> Self {
        Self {
            b: b,
            ..Self::default()
        }
    }
}

impl From<(f64, i32)> for FooArgs {
    fn from((a, b): (f64, i32)) -> Self {
        Self { a: a, b: b }
    }
}

pub fn foo<A>(arg_like: A) -> f64
where
    A: Into<FooArgs>,
{
    let args = arg_like.into();
    args.a * (args.b as f64)
}

fn main() {
    println!("{}", foo(()));
    println!("{}", foo(5.0));
    println!("{}", foo(-3));
    println!("{}", foo((2.0, 6)));
}

This choice is obviously a lot more code, but unlike the macro design it uses the type system which means the compiler errors will be more helpful to your library/API user. This also allows users to make their own From implementation if that is helpful to them.


No, Rust doesn't support default function arguments. You have to define different methods with different names. There is no function overloading either, because Rust use function names to derive types (function overloading requires the opposite).

In case of struct initialization you can use the struct update syntax like this:

use std::default::Default;

#[derive(Debug)]
pub struct Sample {
    a: u32,
    b: u32,
    c: u32,
}

impl Default for Sample {
    fn default() -> Self {
        Sample { a: 2, b: 4, c: 6}
    }
}

fn main() {
    let s = Sample { c: 23, .. Sample::default() };
    println!("{:?}", s);
}

[on request, I cross-posted this answer from a duplicated question]


If you are using Rust 1.12 or later, you can at least make function arguments easier to use with Option and into():

fn add<T: Into<Option<u32>>>(a: u32, b: T) -> u32 {
    if let Some(b) = b.into() {
        a + b
    } else {
        a
    }
}

fn main() {
    assert_eq!(add(3, 4), 7);
    assert_eq!(add(8, None), 8);
}

Rust doesn't support default function arguments, and I don't believe it will be implemented in the future. So I wrote a proc_macro duang to implement it in the macro form.

For example:

duang! ( fn add(a: i32 = 1, b: i32 = 2) -> i32 { a + b } );
fn main() {
    assert_eq!(add!(b=3, a=4), 7);
    assert_eq!(add!(6), 8);
    assert_eq!(add(4,5), 9);
}

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