Module zinc::std::optionStable [-]  [+] [src]

Optional values

Type Option represents an optional value: every Option is either Some and contains a value, or None, and does not. Option types are very common in Rust code, as they have a number of uses:

Options are commonly paired with pattern matching to query the presence of a value and take action, always accounting for the None case.

fn divide(numerator: f64, denominator: f64) -> Option<f64> {
    if denominator == 0.0 {
    } else {
        Some(numerator / denominator)

// The return value of the function is an option
let result = divide(2.0, 3.0);

// Pattern match to retrieve the value
match result {
    // The division was valid
    Some(x) => println!("Result: {}", x),
    // The division was invalid
    None    => println!("Cannot divide by 0")

Options and pointers ("nullable" pointers)

Rust's pointer types must always point to a valid location; there are no "null" pointers. Instead, Rust has optional pointers, like the optional owned box, Option<Box<T>>.

The following example uses Option to create an optional box of int. Notice that in order to use the inner int value first the check_optional function needs to use pattern matching to determine whether the box has a value (i.e. it is Some(...)) or not (None).

let optional: Option<Box<int>> = None;

let optional: Option<Box<int>> = Some(box 9000);

fn check_optional(optional: &Option<Box<int>>) {
    match *optional {
        Some(ref p) => println!("have value {}", p),
        None => println!("have no value")

This usage of Option to create safe nullable pointers is so common that Rust does special optimizations to make the representation of Option<Box<T>> a single pointer. Optional pointers in Rust are stored as efficiently as any other pointer type.


Basic pattern matching on Option:

let msg = Some("howdy");

// Take a reference to the contained string
match msg {
    Some(ref m) => println!("{}", *m),
    None => ()

// Remove the contained string, destroying the Option
let unwrapped_msg = match msg {
    Some(m) => m,
    None => "default message"

Initialize a result to None before a loop:

enum Kingdom { Plant(uint, &'static str), Animal(uint, &'static str) }

// A list of data to search through.
let all_the_big_things = [
    Plant(250, "redwood"),
    Plant(230, "noble fir"),
    Plant(229, "sugar pine"),
    Animal(25, "blue whale"),
    Animal(19, "fin whale"),
    Animal(15, "north pacific right whale"),

// We're going to search for the name of the biggest animal,
// but to start with we've just got `None`.
let mut name_of_biggest_animal = None;
let mut size_of_biggest_animal = 0;
for big_thing in all_the_big_things.iter() {
    match *big_thing {
        Animal(size, name) if size > size_of_biggest_animal => {
            // Now we've found the name of some big animal
            size_of_biggest_animal = size;
            name_of_biggest_animal = Some(name);
        Animal(..) | Plant(..) => ()

match name_of_biggest_animal {
    Some(name) => println!("the biggest animal is {}", name),
    None => println!("there are no animals :(")



An Option iterator that yields either one or zero elements



The Option type.



Deprecated: use Iterator::collect instead.