Default value of *some* fields in a mutable struct

What behavior do you want the non-initialized fields to have? Presumably to throw an error for any operation using them? Or do you want the non-initialized values to propagate and return other non-initialized values after operations?

This is the difference between nothing and missing in Julia. Since Julia aims to have both more “programming” and more “data science” uses, we don’t want to require a single default behavior for non-initialized values.

The Union{Nothing, Int64} or Union{Missing, Int64} is the correct solution to your problem, and it has the benefit of being explicit about the behavior of your uninitialized values.

@davidbp, great improvement!

I wrote a stub of the macro I mentioned:

macro awesome(s)
    if s.head !== :struct 
        error("Not a struct def")

    ismutable = s.args[1]
    if !ismutable
        error("Not mutable")
    name = s.args[2]
    body = s.args[3]    

    ctor = :(function $(name)(;kwargs...)
                K = new()
                for (key, value) in kwargs
                    field_type_key = typeof(getfield(K,key))
                    setfield!(K, key, convert(field_type_key, value))
                return K
    newbody = [body.args; ctor]
    return Expr(s.head, ismutable, name, Expr(body.head, newbody...))       

Now we can write:

@awesome mutable struct coly8
    x :: Int32
    y :: Float64
    z :: Bool
    t :: Int32
    u :: Float32
    v :: Bool
julia> coly8(u=4.0)
coly8(8, 9.200841125e-315, true, 0, 4.0f0, true)

The next step would be parsing a expression in a struct with predefined constants or use the x::Int = 42 syntax like in Parameters.jl. Truly limitless set of options :slight_smile: I would add also zeroing of not defined fields like most of languages do.