In Files

  • ostruct.rb

Class/Module Index [+]



An OpenStruct is a data structure, similar to a Hash, that allows the definition of arbitrary attributes with their accompanying values. This is accomplished by using Ruby’s metaprogramming to define methods on the class itself.


require 'ostruct'

person =    = "John Smith"
person.age     = 70
person.pension = 300

puts     # -> "John Smith"
puts person.age      # -> 70
puts person.address  # -> nil

An OpenStruct employs a Hash internally to store the methods and values and can even be initialized with one:

australia = => "Australia", :population => 20_000_000)
p australia   # -> <OpenStruct country="Australia" population=20000000>

Hash keys with spaces or characters that would normally not be able to use for method calls (e.g. ()[]*) will not be immediately available on the OpenStruct object as a method for retrieval or assignment, but can be still be reached through the Object#send method.

measurements ="length (in inches)" => 24)
measurements.send("length (in inches)")  # -> 24

data_point = => true)
data_point.queued?                       # -> true
data_point.queued?                       # -> false

Removing the presence of a method requires the execution the #delete_field method as setting the property value to nil will not remove the method.

first_pet = => 'Rowdy', :owner => 'John Smith')
first_pet.owner = nil
second_pet = => 'Rowdy')

first_pet == second_pet   # -> false

first_pet == second_pet   # -> true


An OpenStruct utilizes Ruby’s method lookup structure to find and define the necessary methods for properties. This is accomplished through the method method_missing and define_method.

This should be a consideration if there is a concern about the performance of the objects that are created, as there is much more overhead in the setting of these properties compared to using a Hash or a Struct.

Public Class Methods

new(hash=nil) click to toggle source

Creates a new OpenStruct object. By default, the resulting OpenStruct object will have no attributes.

The optional hash, if given, will generate attributes and values (can be a Hash, an OpenStruct or a Struct). For example:

require 'ostruct'
hash = { "country" => "Australia", :population => 20_000_000 }
data =

p data        # -> <OpenStruct country="Australia" population=20000000>
               # File ostruct.rb, line 92
def initialize(hash=nil)
  @table = {}
  if hash
    hash.each_pair do |k, v|
      k = k.to_sym
      @table[k] = v

Public Instance Methods

==(other) click to toggle source

Compares this object and other for equality. An OpenStruct is equal to other when other is an OpenStruct and the two objects’ Hash tables are equal.

               # File ostruct.rb, line 311
def ==(other)
  return false unless other.kind_of?(OpenStruct)
  @table == other.table!
[](name) click to toggle source

Returns the value of a member.

person ='name' => 'John Smith', 'age' => 70)
person[:age] # => 70, same as ostruct.age
               # File ostruct.rb, line 220
def [](name)
[]=(name, value) click to toggle source

Sets the value of a member.

person ='name' => 'John Smith', 'age' => 70)
person[:age] = 42 # => equivalent to ostruct.age = 42
person.age # => 42
               # File ostruct.rb, line 231
def []=(name, value)
  modifiable?[new_ostruct_member!(name)] = value
delete_field(name) click to toggle source

Remove the named field from the object. Returns the value that the field contained if it was defined.

require 'ostruct'

person ='name' => 'John Smith', 'age' => 70)

person.delete_field('name')  # => 'John Smith'
               # File ostruct.rb, line 263
def delete_field(name)
  sym = name.to_sym
    singleton_class.__send__(:remove_method, sym, "#{sym}=")
  rescue NameError
  @table.delete(sym) do
    raise"no field `#{sym}' in #{self}", sym)
dig(name, *names) click to toggle source

Retrieves the value object corresponding to the each name objects repeatedly.

address ='city' => "Anytown NC", 'zip' => 12345)
person ='name' => 'John Smith', 'address' => address)
person.dig(:address, 'zip') # => 12345
person.dig(:business_address, 'zip') # => nil
               # File ostruct.rb, line 244
def dig(name, *names)
    name = name.to_sym
  rescue NoMethodError
    raise TypeError, "#{name} is not a symbol nor a string"
  @table.dig(name, *names)
each_pair() click to toggle source

Yields all attributes (as a symbol) along with the corresponding values or returns an enumerator if not block is given. Example:

require 'ostruct'
data ="country" => "Australia", :population => 20_000_000)
data.each_pair.to_a  # => [[:country, "Australia"], [:population, 20000000]]
               # File ostruct.rb, line 130
def each_pair
  return to_enum(__method__) { @table.size } unless block_given?
  @table.each_pair{|p| yield p}
eql?(other) click to toggle source

Compares this object and other for equality. An OpenStruct is eql? to other when other is an OpenStruct and the two objects’ Hash tables are eql?.

               # File ostruct.rb, line 321
def eql?(other)
  return false unless other.kind_of?(OpenStruct)
freeze() click to toggle source
               # File ostruct.rb, line 186
def freeze
  @table.each_key {|key| new_ostruct_member!(key)}
hash() click to toggle source

Compute a hash-code for this OpenStruct. Two hashes with the same content will have the same hash code (and will be eql?).

               # File ostruct.rb, line 329
def hash
initialize_copy(orig) click to toggle source

Duplicate an OpenStruct object members.

               # File ostruct.rb, line 103
def initialize_copy(orig)
  @table = @table.dup
inspect() click to toggle source

Returns a string containing a detailed summary of the keys and values.

               # File ostruct.rb, line 279
def inspect
  str = "#<#{self.class}"

  ids = (Thread.current[InspectKey] ||= [])
  if ids.include?(object_id)
    return str << ' ...>'

  ids << object_id
    first = true
    for k,v in @table
      str << "," unless first
      first = false
      str << " #{k}=#{v.inspect}"
    return str << '>'
Also aliased as: to_s
marshal_dump() click to toggle source

Provides marshalling support for use by the Marshal library.

               # File ostruct.rb, line 138
def marshal_dump
marshal_load(x) click to toggle source

Provides marshalling support for use by the Marshal library.

               # File ostruct.rb, line 145
def marshal_load(x)
  @table = x
respond_to_missing?(mid, include_private = false) click to toggle source
               # File ostruct.rb, line 191
def respond_to_missing?(mid, include_private = false)
  mname = mid.to_s.chomp("=").to_sym
  @table.key?(mname) || super
to_h() click to toggle source

Converts the OpenStruct to a hash with keys representing each attribute (as symbols) and their corresponding values Example:

require 'ostruct'
data ="country" => "Australia", :population => 20_000_000)
data.to_h   # => {:country => "Australia", :population => 20000000 }
               # File ostruct.rb, line 117
def to_h
to_s() click to toggle source
Alias for: inspect