Dart Programming - Typedef


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A typedef, or a function-type alias, helps to define pointers to executable code within memory. Simply put, a typedef can be used as a pointer that references a function.

Given below are the steps to implement typedefs in a Dart program.

Step 1: Defining a typedef

A typedef can be used to specify a function signature that we want specific functions to match. A function signature is defined by a function’s parameters (including their types). The return type is not a part of the function signature. Its syntax is as follows.

typedef function_name(parameters)

Step 2: Assigning a Function to a typedef Variable

A variable of typedef can point to any function having the same signature as typedef. You can use the following signature to assign a function to a typedef variable.

type_def  var_name = function_name

Step 3: Invoking a Function

The typedef variable can be used to invoke functions. Here is how you can invoke a function −

var_name(parameters) 

Example

Let’s now take an example to understand more on typedef in Dart.

At first, let us define a typedef. Here we are defining a function signature. The function will take two input parameters of the type integer. Return type is not a part of the function signature.

typedef ManyOperation(int firstNo , int secondNo); //function signature

Next, let us define the functions. Define some functions with the same function signature as that of the ManyOperation typedef.

Add(int firstNo,int second){ 
   print("Add result is ${firstNo+second}"); 
}  
Subtract(int firstNo,int second){ 
   print("Subtract result is ${firstNo-second}"); 
}  
Divide(int firstNo,int second){ 
   print("Add result is ${firstNo/second}"); 
}

Finally, we will invoke the function via typedef. Declare a variable of the ManyOperations type. Assign the function name to the declared variable.

ManyOperation oper ;  

//can point to any method of same signature 
oper = Add; 
oper(10,20); 
oper = Subtract; 
oper(30,20); 
oper = Divide; 
oper(50,5); 

The oper variable can point to any method which takes two integer parameters. The Add function's reference is assigned to the variable. Typedefs can switch function references at runtime

Let us now put all the parts together and see the complete program.

Live Demo
typedef ManyOperation(int firstNo , int secondNo); 
//function signature  

Add(int firstNo,int second){ 
   print("Add result is ${firstNo+second}"); 
} 
Subtract(int firstNo,int second){ 
   print("Subtract result is ${firstNo-second}"); 
}
Divide(int firstNo,int second){ 
   print("Divide result is ${firstNo/second}"); 
}  
Calculator(int a, int b, ManyOperation oper){ 
   print("Inside calculator"); 
   oper(a,b); 
}  
void main(){ 
   ManyOperation oper = Add; 
   oper(10,20); 
   oper = Subtract; 
   oper(30,20); 
   oper = Divide; 
   oper(50,5); 
} 

The program should produce the following output

Add result is 30 
Subtract result is 10 
Divide result is 10.0 

Note − The above code will result in an error if the typedef variable tries to point to a function with a different function signature.

Example

Typedefs can also be passed as a parameter to a function. Consider the following example −

Live Demo
typedef ManyOperation(int firstNo , int secondNo);   //function signature 
Add(int firstNo,int second){ 
   print("Add result is ${firstNo+second}"); 
}  
Subtract(int firstNo,int second){
   print("Subtract result is ${firstNo-second}"); 
}  
Divide(int firstNo,int second){ 
   print("Divide result is ${firstNo/second}"); 
}  
Calculator(int a,int b ,ManyOperation oper){ 
   print("Inside calculator"); 
   oper(a,b); 
}  
main(){ 
   Calculator(5,5,Add); 
   Calculator(5,5,Subtract); 
   Calculator(5,5,Divide); 
} 

It will produce the following output

Inside calculator 
Add result is 10 
Inside calculator 
Subtract result is 0 
Inside calculator 
Divide result is 1.0


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