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Traits in Rust

Traits are similar with interface on other language.
A traits is a way to abstract or share similar behavior on Rust.

Example use case

Let’s say we want to make a news aggregator that summarize a news from different resources.

We create a trait as our (you alone or with teammate) on what function must be implemented later.

Define a trait

We can define a trait like this

pub trait Summary {
    fn summarize(&self) -> String;
}

We have a trait Summary that have a function called summarize.

Now we make a ‘contract’ to implement a summarize method that will return a string

Implementing a Trait

Assume we have two different Struct (news resources)

The syntax is impl TraitName for Struct

pub trait Summary {
    fn summarize(&self) -> String;
}

pub struct NewsArticle {
    pub headline: String,
    pub location: String,
    pub author: String,
    pub content: String,
}

impl Summary for NewsArticle {
    fn summarize(&self) -> String {
        format!("{}, by {} ({})", self.headline, self.author, self.location)
    }
}

pub struct Tweet {
    pub username: String,
    pub content: String,
    pub reply: bool,
    pub retweet: bool,
}

impl Summary for Tweet {
    fn summarize(&self) -> String {
        format!("{}: {}", self.username, self.content)
    }
}

//Implementation
let tweet = Tweet {
        username: String::from("horse_ebooks"),
        content: String::from(
            "of course, as you probably already know, people",
        ),
        reply: false,
        retweet: false,
    };

    println!("1 new tweet: {}", tweet.summarize());

As you can see, bot implement our Summary Trait with summarize function. But each of the summarize has a different implementation.

Default implementation

We can prepare a default implementation for a trait like so

pub trait Summary {
    fn summarize(&self) -> String {
        String::from("(Read more...)")
    }
}

Use own trait method

Assume we have a function that use other function on our trait

pub trait Summary {
    fn summarize_author(&self) -> String;

    fn summarize(&self) -> String {
        format!("(Read more from {}...)", self.summarize_author())
    }
}

Now, the implementation can only call one of it’s method

impl Summary for Tweet {
    fn summarize_author(&self) -> String {
        format!("@{}", self.username)
    }
}

If you try

let tweet = Tweet {
        username: String::from("horse_ebooks"),
        content: String::from(
            "of course, as you probably already know, people",
        ),
        reply: false,
        retweet: false,
    };

    println!("1 new tweet: {}", tweet.summarize());

It will return “1 new tweet: (Read more from @horse_ebooks…)”




This is a post in the start learning Rust series.



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