#macro-rules #macro #proc-macro

macro macro_rules_rec

Expand syntax of macro_rules to enable self recursive call

1 unstable release

0.1.0 Apr 20, 2024

#1971 in Rust patterns

MIT license

375 lines

The macro_rules_rec crate enables recursive calls to itself within macro_rules! in the Rust language.

In Rust, macros, especially defined with macro_rules! expands the macro's body in-place when used. This means that all intermediate states produced during the expansion must adhere to Rust's syntax.

Namely, when a macro recursively calls itself within its body, the position where this call is written must be within a syntactic element that supports macro invocation according to Rust's syntax. Typically, many macros are intended to expand into expressions, statements, types, or declaration items, and this rarely poses a problem. However, in special cases like the following, the position of the macro call does not correspond to any syntactic element in Rust, which traditionally prevented the recursive invocation of the macro:

  • When generating pairs of types and constraints simultaneously in the where clause of generics using a single macro.
  • When generating pairs of field names and types simultaneously within a struct declaration using a single macro.

macro_rules_rec extends the declarative macro writing with Rust's macro_rules! and enables recursive macro calls that are not constrained by Rust's syntax. Additionally, the macros generated by macro_rules_rec are pure macro_rules! and do not depend on external crates (including macro_rules_rec). This is very useful when creating libraries, as users of the library do not need to reference macro_rules_rec when using macros generated with it.


You can perform self-recursive call via $self! sentence.

# use macro_rules_rec::recursive;
macro_rules! m {
    ($($id:ident)*) => {
            $self!(@ $id);
    (@ $id:ident) => {
        let $id = 123;
m!(a b c);


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