Rust - Structure


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Arrays are used to represent a homogeneous collection of values. Similarly, a structure is another user defined data type available in Rust that allows us to combine data items of different types, including another structure. A structure defines data as a key-value pair.

Syntax - Declaring a structure

The struct keyword is used to declare a structure. Since structures are statically typed, every field in the structure must be associated with a data type. The naming rules and conventions for a structure is like that of a variable. The structure block must end with a semicolon.

struct Name_of_structure {
   field1:data_type,
   field2:data_type,
   field3:data_type
}

Syntax - Initializing a structure

After declaring a struct, each field should be assigned a value. This is known as initialization.

let instance_name = Name_of_structure {
   field1:value1,
   field2:value2,
   field3:value3
}; 
//NOTE the semicolon
Syntax: Accessing values in a structure
Use the dot notation to access value of a specific field.
instance_name.field1
Illustration
struct Employee {
   name:String,
   company:String,
   age:u32
}
fn main() {
   let emp1 = Employee {
      company:String::from("TutorialsPoint"),
      name:String::from("Mohtashim"),
      age:50
   };
   println!("Name is :{} company is {} age is {}",emp1.name,emp1.company,emp1.age);
}

The above example declares a struct Employee with three fields – name, company and age of types. The main() initializes the structure. It uses the println! macro to print values of the fields defined in the structure.

Output

Name is :Mohtashim company is TutorialsPoint age is 50

Modifying a struct instance

To modify an instance, the instance variable should be marked mutable. The below example declares and initializes a structure named Employee and later modifies value of the age field to 40 from 50.

let mut emp1 = Employee {
   company:String::from("TutorialsPoint"),
   name:String::from("Mohtashim"),
   age:50
};
emp1.age = 40;
println!("Name is :{} company is {} age is 
{}",emp1.name,emp1.company,emp1.age);

Output

Name is :Mohtashim company is TutorialsPoint age is 40

Passing a struct to a function

The following example shows how to pass instance of struct as a parameter. The display method takes an Employee instance as parameter and prints the details.

fn display( emp:Employee) {
   println!("Name is :{} company is {} age is 
   {}",emp.name,emp.company,emp.age);
}

Here is the complete program −

//declare a structure
struct Employee {
   name:String,
   company:String,
   age:u32
}
fn main() {
   //initialize a structure
   let emp1 = Employee {
      company:String::from("TutorialsPoint"),
      name:String::from("Mohtashim"),
      age:50
   };
   let emp2 = Employee{
      company:String::from("TutorialsPoint"),
      name:String::from("Kannan"),
      age:32
   };
   //pass emp1 and emp2 to display()
   display(emp1);
   display(emp2);
}
// fetch values of specific structure fields using the 
// operator and print it to the console
fn display( emp:Employee){
   println!("Name is :{} company is {} age is 
   {}",emp.name,emp.company,emp.age);
}

Output

Name is :Mohtashim company is TutorialsPoint age is 50
Name is :Kannan company is TutorialsPoint age is 32

Returning struct from a function

Let us consider a function who_is_elder(), which compares two employees age and returns the elder one.

fn who_is_elder (emp1:Employee,emp2:Employee)->Employee {
   if emp1.age>emp2.age {
      return emp1;
   } else {
      return emp2;
   }
}

Here is the complete program −

fn main() {
   //initialize structure
   let emp1 = Employee{
      company:String::from("TutorialsPoint"),
      name:String::from("Mohtashim"),
      age:50
   };
   let emp2 = Employee {
      company:String::from("TutorialsPoint"),
      name:String::from("Kannan"),
      age:32
   };
   let elder = who_is_elder(emp1,emp2);
   println!("elder is:");

   //prints details of the elder employee
   display(elder);
}
//accepts instances of employee structure and compares their age
fn who_is_elder (emp1:Employee,emp2:Employee)->Employee {
   if emp1.age>emp2.age {
      return emp1;
   } else {
      return emp2;
   }
}
//display name, comapny and age of the employee
fn display( emp:Employee) {
   println!("Name is :{} company is {} age is {}",emp.name,emp.company,emp.age);
}
//declare a structure
struct Employee {
   name:String,
   company:String,
   age:u32
}

Output

elder is:
Name is :Mohtashim company is TutorialsPoint age is 50

Method in Structure

Methods are like functions. They are a logical group of programming instructions. Methods are declared with the fn keyword. The scope of a method is within the structure block.

Methods are declared outside the structure block. The impl keyword is used to define a method within the context of a structure. The first parameter of a method will be always self, which represents the calling instance of the structure. Methods operate on the data members of a structure.

To invoke a method, we need to first instantiate the structure. The method can be called using the structure's instance.

Syntax

struct My_struct {}
impl My_struct { 
   //set the method's context
   fn method_name() { 
      //define a method
   }
}

Illustration

The following example defines a structure Rectangle with fields − width and height. A method area is defined within the structure's context. The area method accesses the structure's fields via the self keyword and calculates the area of a rectangle.

//define dimensions of a rectangle
struct Rectangle {
   width:u32, height:u32
}

//logic to calculate area of a rectangle
impl Rectangle {
   fn area(&self)->u32 {
      //use the . operator to fetch the value of a field via the self keyword
      self.width * self.height
   }
}

fn main() {
   // instanatiate the structure
   let small = Rectangle {
      width:10,
      height:20
   };
   //print the rectangle's area
   println!("width is {} height is {} area of Rectangle 
   is {}",small.width,small.height,small.area());
}

Output

width is 10 height is 20 area of Rectangle is 200

Static Method in Structure

Static methods can be used as utility methods. These methods exist even before the structure is instantiated. Static methods are invoked using the structure's name and can be accessed without an instance. Unlike normal methods, a static method will not take the &self parameter.

Syntax - Declaring a static method

A static method like functions and other methods can optionally contain parameters.

impl Structure_Name {
   //static method that creates objects of the Point structure
   fn method_name(param1: datatype, param2: datatype) -> return_type {
      // logic goes here
   }
}

Syntax - Invoking a static method

The structure_name :: syntax is used to access a static method.

structure_name::method_name(v1,v2)

Illustration

The following example uses the getInstance method as a factory class that creates and returns instances of the structure Point.

//declare a structure
struct Point {
   x: i32,
   y: i32,
}
impl Point {
   //static method that creates objects of the Point structure
   fn getInstance(x: i32, y: i32) -> Point {
      Point { x: x, y: y }
   }
   //display values of the structure's field
   fn display(&self){
      println!("x ={} y={}",self.x,self.y );
   }
}
fn main(){
   // Invoke the static method
   let p1 = Point::getInstance(10,20);
   p1.display();
}

Output

x =10 y=20
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