switch Examples
This page was last reviewed on Aug 19, 2021.
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Switch. Often in Golang a selection must be made based on the value of a variable. For an input, a special value must be returned. A switch handles this.
In Go we have versatile switch statements. We can match a variable to a constant value (even in a list). Or we can match based on expressions and logic.
To start, we use a switch with 3 cases. Each case matches an expression. So if height is less than or equal to 4, the first case is reached.
Detail Cases have no fall-through. So only one case is reached, even if two are matched by the variable.
package main import "fmt" func main() { height := 5 // Use switch on the height variable. switch { case height <= 4: fmt.Println("Short") case height <= 5: fmt.Println("Normal") case height > 5: fmt.Println("Tall") } }
Case lists. This is another form of the switch construct. We specify a variable after the switch keyword. Then we use constants or lists of constants to match the variable.
Here The id is equal to 10. The switch case 10 is matched and the string "Even" is printed with fmt.
package main import "fmt" func main() { id := 10 // Use switch with multiple values in each case. switch id { case 10, 12, 14: fmt.Println("Even") case 11, 13, 15: fmt.Println("Odd") } }
Return value. This is a common code pattern: we use a switch to return a value in a func. We use return statements within the cases.
Detail The default return here is specified after the switch. If nothing matches, the final return is reached.
package main import "fmt" func result(v int) int { // Return a value based on a switch. switch v { case 10, 20, 30: return v + 5 case 15, 25, 35: return v - 5 } return v } func main() { // Call the method that uses a switch. number := result(10) fmt.Println(number) number = result(25) fmt.Println(number) }
15 20
Fallthrough. This keyword can be used in a case in a switch statement. When fallthrough is encountered, the next case is entered (even if the expression does not match).
Detail Test() is called with the value of 0. The case 0 is reached in test(), and the func is done.
Detail The test() method is called next with a value of 1. Case 1 is reached, and then case 0 is entered because control "falls through."
package main import "fmt" func test(value int) { switch value { case 1: // For 1, handle as 1 and fall-through to 0. fmt.Println("One") fallthrough case 0: // For 0, just print zero. fmt.Println("Zero") break } } func main() { fmt.Println(0) test(0) fmt.Println(1) test(1) }
0 Zero 1 One Zero
Duplicate case error. A switch's cases must be unique. Every constant, even in lists, is checked against the entire switch. A "duplicate case" error may be reported.
package main import "fmt" func main() { value := 10 // Duplicate cases are not allowed. switch value { case 10: fmt.Println(true) case 10: fmt.Println(true) } }
C:\programs\file.go:14: duplicate case 10 in switch previous case at C:\programs\file.go:12
Floating-point. In some languages a float cannot be used in a switch. But in Go we can switch on floating-point numbers. This program shows a switch on a variable with value 2.5.
package main import "fmt" func main() { value := 2.5 // Switch on a floating-point value. switch value { case 1.5: fmt.Println("One point five") case 2.5: fmt.Println("Two point five") } }
Two point five
Default. A switch can have a default case. This is reached when no other case matches. A switch can have 0 or 1 default cases, and the position in the switch statement is not important.
Here The value is equal to 5, so the case 4 does not match. The default case is instead reached.
package main import "fmt" func main() { value := 5 // Switch on the value. switch value { case 4: fmt.Println("FOUR") default: // The default case is reached. fmt.Println("UNKNOWN") } }
String switch. The Go language supports switch on strings. We can specify string literals in the case statements. The strings must exactly match.
package main import "fmt" func main() { animal := "cat" // Switch on string. switch animal { case "bird": fmt.Println("MATCHED BIRD") case "cat": fmt.Println("MATCHED CAT") } }
Benchmark, if versus switch. Does the switch statement provide a huge performance boost over if? I tested a simple integer switch against an equivalent if-else chain.
Version 1 This version of the code uses the switch statement. The cases in the switch are all encountered.
Version 2 Here we use the if-statement instead of switch. The if-statements do the same thing as the switch.
Result In newer versions of Go, we find a significant benefit to the switch statement. On numbers, prefer switch when possible.
package main import ( "fmt" "time" ) func main() { Version1() Version2() } func Version1() { result := 0 t0 := time.Now() // Version 1: test switch statement. for i := 0; i < 10000000; i++ { for v := 0; v < 5; v++ { switch v { case 0: result += 1 case 1, 2, 3: result += 2 case 4: result += 3 } } } t1 := time.Now() // Results. fmt.Println(result) fmt.Println(t1.Sub(t0)) } func Version2() { result := 0 t0 := time.Now() // Version 2: test if-statement. for i := 0; i < 10000000; i++ { for v := 0; v < 5; v++ { if v == 0 { result += 1 } else if v == 1 || v == 2 || v == 3 { result += 2 } else if v == 4 { result += 3 } } } t1 := time.Now() // Results. fmt.Println(result) fmt.Println(t1.Sub(t0)) }
100000000 53.8862ms Switch 100000000 82.807ms If
Type switch. With a type switch we can detect what interfaces a variable implements. We use the (type) syntax to get the type and pass it to the switch. Then we have interface cases.
Tip We use the switch on an interface{} variable in the test() method. We then use (type).
Tip 2 The cases must have interfaces that are implemented on the type. The inner statements of the case are then executed.
package main import "fmt" type Page interface { PrintPage() } type HtmlPage struct { // Implement Page interface. Page } type Image interface { PrintImage() } type ImagePage struct { // Implement Image interface. Image } func test(value interface{}) { // Use type switch to test interface type. // ... The argument is an interface. switch value.(type) { case nil: fmt.Println("Is nil interface") case Page: fmt.Println("Is page interface"); case Image: fmt.Println("Is image interface"); } } func main() { // Create class that implements interface and pass to test func. item1 := new(HtmlPage) test(item1) item2 := new(ImagePage) test(item2) }
Is page interface Is image interface
Lookup table. It is possible to use a lookup table in certain Go programs to improve performance over a switch. This can help hot loops.
Lookup Table
A summary. Switches are emphasized in Go. We use them preferentially over if-statements. And most ifs can be rewritten elegantly with switch.
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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 Aug 19, 2021 (image).
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