3 releases

Uses old Rust 2015

0.1.2 Jun 21, 2015
0.1.1 Jun 14, 2015
0.1.0 Jun 7, 2015

#2947 in Rust patterns

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Used in 2 crates

MIT license

314 lines


This crate provides the error_type! macro, which is designed to produce a fresh, reasonably well-featured error type from a concise definition.

A simple example of the usage is given below:

#[macro_use] extern crate error_type;

use std::borrow::Cow;
use std::error::Error;
use std::io;

error_type! {
    pub enum LibError {
        Io(std::io::Error) {
        Message(Cow<'static, str>) {
            desc (e) &**e;
            from (s: &'static str) s.into();
            from (s: String) s.into();
        Other(Box<Error>) {
            desc (e) e.description();
            cause (e) Some(&**e);

fn main() {}

The expansion of the above includes the following:

  • The LibError enumeration (plus the provided #[derive(Debug)] annotation), with Io, Message and Other variants.

  • An implicit impl From<Payload> for LibError for each variant's payload type.

  • An implicit impl Display for LibError, using the existing Display implementation for each variant's payload type.

  • An implicit impl Error for LibError.

  • For the Io variant:

    • An implicit description, forwarded to the existing definition for std::io::Error.

    • An automatic cause, forwarded to the existing definition for std::io::Error.

      Note: the automatic cause returns the result of std::io::Error::cause, not the payload itself. This macro considers the payload to be the error, not the underlying cause.

  • For the Message variant:

    • An explicit description, which just returns the contents of the Cow<'static, str>.

    • An implicit cause, which just returns None.

    • An explicit From<&'static str> conversion.

    • An explicit From<String> conversion.

  • For the Other variant:

    • An explicit description which forwards to the existing definition for the boxed Error.

    • An explicit cause which returns the boxed error itself as the cause. This is distinct from the behaviour of an automatic cause.


  • Can I use unitary variants; ones without a payload?

    No, not as yet. Maybe if there's demand.

  • Can I use tuple variants with more than one element?

    No. This would likely be rather inconvenient to implement, due to the way the various parts of the implementation are constructed. Not impossible, though.

  • Can I use struct variants?

    No, for much the same reason as tuple variants.

  • Can I have fields common to all variants; i.e. have the enum wrapped in a struct?

    No. It would be nice, but I'm not sure how to go about that. You can always use the expansion of error_type! in a custom structure for the added information.

No runtime deps