Struct

Basics of Struct

Struct can be used to define custom data types in Go. Often times, we can not handle the real world information using the standard data types which come with languages. While it is not impossible, it is highly inefficient. For example, in an eCommerce application, we have the ShoppingCart in which we put products for checkout.

type Product struct {
    name          string
    itemID        int
    cost          float32
    isAvailable   bool
    inventoryLeft int
}

There are a lot of attributes of Product, its name, the ID used internally, the cost, number of the products in stock, etc.

  • name is a string used to store a product's name.
  • itemID is an int used to store for reference.
  • cost is a float32 of the item.
  • isAvailable is a bool which is true if the item is in stock, false otherwise.
  • inventoryLeft is an int of the number of products left in stock.

Initializing

// define goBook as a Product type
var goBook Product
// assign "Webapps in Go" to the field 'name' of goBook
goBook.name = "Webapps in Go"
// assign 10025 to field 'itemID' of goBook
goBook.itemID = 10025
// access field 'name' of goBook
fmt.Printf("The product's name is %s\n", goBook.name)

There are three more ways to define a struct.

  • Assign initial values by order

goBook := Product{"Webapps in Go", 10025}

  • Use the format field:value to initialize the struct without order

goBook := Product{name:"Webapps in Go", itemID:10025, cost:100}

  • Define an anonymous struct, then initialize it

p := struct{name string; age int}{"Amy",18}

Let's see a complete example.

file: code/Struct/Book/struct.go

package main

import "fmt"

// Product will denote a physical object
// which we will sell online to be rich
type Product struct {
    name          string
    itemID        int
    cost          float32
    isAvailable   bool
    inventoryLeft int
}

func main() {
    var goBook Product

    // initialization
    goBook.name, goBook.itemID, goBook.isAvailable, goBook.inventoryLeft = "Webapps in Go", 10025, true, 25

    // initialize four values by format "field:value"
    pythonBook := Product{itemID: 10026, name: "Learn Python", inventoryLeft: 0, isAvailable: false}

    // initialize all five values in order
    rubyBook := Product{"Learn Ruby", 10043, 100, true, 12}

    if goBook.isAvailable {
        fmt.Printf("%d copies of %s are available\n", 
        goBook.inventoryLeft, goBook.name)
    }

    if pythonBook.isAvailable {
        fmt.Printf("%d copies of %s are available\n", 
        pythonBook.inventoryLeft, pythonBook.name)
    }

    if rubyBook.isAvailable {
        fmt.Printf("%d copies of %s are available\n", 
        rubyBook.inventoryLeft, rubyBook.name)
    }

}

embedded fields in struct

In the earlier chapter, we saw how to define a struct with field names and type. Embedded fields can be thought of as subclass and superclass in Object oriented programming.

When the embedded field is a struct, all the fields in that struct will implicitly be the fields in the struct in which it has been embedded.

Let's see one example.

file: code/Struct/Human/human.go

package main
import "fmt"

type Human struct {
    name string
    age int
    weight int
}

type Student struct {
    Human  // embedded field, it means Student struct
    // includes all fields that Human has.
    specialty string
}

func main() {
    // initialize a student
    mark := Student{Human{"Mark", 25, 120}, "Computer Science"}

    // access fields
    fmt.Println("His name is ", mark.name)
    fmt.Println("His age is ", mark.age)
    fmt.Println("His weight is ", mark.weight)
    fmt.Println("His specialty is ", mark.specialty)
    // modify notes
    mark.specialty = "AI"
    fmt.Println("Mark changed his specialty")
    fmt.Println("His specialty is ", mark.specialty)
    // modify age
    fmt.Println("Mark become old")
    mark.age = 46
    fmt.Println("His age is", mark.age)
    // modify weight
    fmt.Println("Mark is not an athlete anymore")
    mark.weight += 60
    fmt.Println("His weight is", mark.weight)
}

Embedding in Student and Human

We see that we can access the age and name fields in Student just like we can in Human. This is how embedded fields work. We can even use Student to access Human in this embedded field!

mark.Human = Human{"Marcus", 55, 220}
mark.Human.age -= 1

All the types in Go can be used as embedded fields.

file: code/Struct/Skills/skills.go

package main

import "fmt"

type Skills []string

type Human struct {
    name   string
    age    int
    weight int
}

type Student struct {
    Human     // struct as embedded field
    Skills    // string slice as embedded field
    int       // built-in type as embedded field
    specialty string
}

func main() {
    // initialize Student Jane
    jane := Student{Human: Human{"Jane", 35, 100}, specialty: "Biology"}
    // access fields
    fmt.Println("Her name is ", jane.name)
    fmt.Println("Her age is ", jane.age)
    fmt.Println("Her weight is ", jane.weight)
    fmt.Println("Her specialty is ", jane.specialty)
    // modify value of skill field
    jane.Skills = []string{"anatomy"}
    fmt.Println("Her skills are ", jane.Skills)
    fmt.Println("She acquired two new ones ")
    jane.Skills = append(jane.Skills, "physics", "golang")
    fmt.Println("Her skills now are ", jane.Skills)
    // modify embedded field
    jane.int = 3
    fmt.Println("Her preferred number is ", jane.int)
}

In the above example, we can see that all types can be embedded fields and we can use functions to operate on them.

When we embed Human inside Employee, if Human and Employee have the phone field, then it isn't a problem. Because we access Employee's phone as Employee.Phone, but since Human is an embedded field inside Employee, we access Human's phone as Employee.Human.Phone

file: code/Struct/Employee/employee.go

package main

import "fmt"

type Human struct {
    name  string
    age   int
    phone string // Human has phone field
}

type Employee struct {
    Human     // embedded field Human
    specialty string
    phone     string // phone in employee
}

func main() {
    Bob := Employee{Human{"Bob", 34, "777-444-XXXX"},
        "Designer", "333-222"}
    fmt.Println("Bob's work phone is:", Bob.phone)
    // access phone field in Human
    fmt.Println("Bob's personal phone is:", Bob.Human.phone)
}

-Previous section -Next section

results matching ""

    No results matching ""