enum Examples
This page was last reviewed on May 22, 2023.
Dot Net Perls
Enum. Sometimes we want to call a function with a small selection of known arguments. Only a known value can be specified—we can use an enum here.
With enums, we provide a set of names. An enum variable can be created with any of the names. In Rust, each name can have an optional type—the name can have attached data of that type.
To start, we use a classic Animal enum with the names Bird, Frog and Cat. So any Animal enum variable can be one of those names.
Here We use the match expression to get a string based on the value of the enum local variable.
enum Animal { Bird, Frog, Cat } fn main() { let animal = Animal::Frog; // Match the enum. let result = match animal { Animal::Bird | Animal::Frog => "Bird or frog", _ => "Other" }; println!("ENUM RESULT: {}", result); }
ENUM RESULT: Bird or frog
Data types. Enums have a more powerful syntax in Rust than in many languages. For each name in an enum, we can specify an attached type. For example, here the Name has a String.
And When we create a Name instance of the Info enum, we must specify a valid String as well.
Then Elsewhere in the program, we can access the string that is attached to a Name. We can capture the string in a match expression.
// Use enum with data types. enum Info { Name(String), Index(usize) } fn main() { let info = Info::Name("Test".to_string()); match info { Info::Name(c) => println!("Name = {}", c), _ => println!("No name") } }
Name = Test
Implicit values. Sometimes we have a simple group of constants and want each one to have a number like 0, 1, 2 and further. These are implicit value enums.
Tip This feature works with unit-only enums, meaning enums that do not have attached data.
And We can use the underlying value as an index into a lookup table, or other collection, by casting to usize.
enum AnimalType { Bird, Rat, Mouse, } fn main() { // Use implicit values from unit-only enums. let animal = AnimalType::Bird; let animal_value = animal as usize; println!("BIRD = {}", animal_value); let animal = AnimalType::Rat; let animal_value = animal as usize; println!("RAT = {}", animal_value); }
BIRD = 0 RAT = 1
Assigned values. With unit-only enums, we can assign a value that can later be accessed in the Rust program through casting. This gives us a way to use enums for a collection of constant values.
enum ImportantInfo { Top = 100, Medium = 50, Low = 10, } fn main() { let x = ImportantInfo::Medium; println!("MEDIUM = {}", x as usize); }
Enums enhance the type system in Rust. We can do everything we need without enums—but enums involve the type system and can make programs more resilient to change.
We used enums to specify a selection of values in programs. This allows us to verify programs with types, even when we just are using values.
Dot Net Perls is a collection of tested code examples. Pages are continually updated to stay current, with code correctness a top priority.
Sam Allen is passionate about computer languages. In the past, his work has been recommended by Apple and Microsoft and he has studied computers at a selective university in the United States.
This page was last updated on May 22, 2023 (new example).
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