Question

[Solved] Typescript interface default values

I have the following interface in TypeScript:

interface IX {
    a: string,
    b: any,
    c: AnotherType
}

I declare a variable of that type and I initialize all the properties

let x: IX = {
    a: 'abc',
    b: null,
    c: null
}

Then I assign real values to them in an init function later

x.a = 'xyz'
x.b = 123
x.c = new AnotherType()

But I don’t like having to specify a bunch of default null values for each property when declaring the object when they’re going to just be set later to real values. Can I tell the interface to default the properties I don’t supply to null? What would let me do this:

let x: IX = {
    a: 'abc'
}

without getting a compiler error. Right now it tells me

TS2322: Type ‘{}’ is not assignable to type
‘IX’. Property ‘b’ is missing in type ‘{}’.

Enquirer: d512

||

Solution #1:

Can I tell the interface to default the properties I don’t supply to null? What would let me do this

No. You cannot provide default values for interfaces or type aliases as they are compile time only and default values need runtime support

Alternative

But values that are not specified default to undefined in JavaScript runtimes. So you can mark them as optional:

interface IX {
  a: string,
  b?: any,
  c?: AnotherType
}

And now when you create it you only need to provide a:

let x: IX = {
    a: 'abc'
};

You can provide the values as needed:

x.a = 'xyz'
x.b = 123
x.c = new AnotherType()
Respondent: basarat

Solution #2:

You can’t set default values in an interface, but you can accomplish what you want to do by using Optional Properties (compare paragraph #3):

https://www.typescriptlang.org/docs/handbook/interfaces.html

Simply change the interface to:

interface IX {
    a: string,
    b?: any,
    c?: AnotherType
}

You can then do:

let x: IX = {
    a: 'abc'
}

And use your init function to assign default values to x.b and x.c if those properies are not set.

Respondent: Timar

Solution #3:

While @Timar’s answer works perfectly for null default values (what was asked for), here another easy solution which allows other default values: Define an option interface as well as an according constant containing the defaults; in the constructor use the spread operator to set the options member variable

interface IXOptions {
    a?: string,
    b?: any,
    c?: number
}

const XDefaults: IXOptions = {
    a: "default",
    b: null,
    c: 1
}

export class ClassX {
    private options: IXOptions;

    constructor(XOptions: IXOptions) {
        this.options = { ...XDefaults, ...XOptions };
    }

    public printOptions(): void {
        console.log(this.options.a);
        console.log(this.options.b);
        console.log(this.options.c);
    }
}

Now you can use the class like this:

const x = new ClassX({ a: "set" });
x.printOptions();

Output:

set
null
1
Respondent: Jack Miller

Solution #4:

You can implement the interface with a class, then you can deal with initializing the members in the constructor:

class IXClass implements IX {
    a: string;
    b: any;
    c: AnotherType;

    constructor(obj: IX);
    constructor(a: string, b: any, c: AnotherType);
    constructor() {
        if (arguments.length == 1) {
            this.a = arguments[0].a;
            this.b = arguments[0].b;
            this.c = arguments[0].c;
        } else {
            this.a = arguments[0];
            this.b = arguments[1];
            this.c = arguments[2];
        }
    }
}

Another approach is to use a factory function:

function ixFactory(a: string, b: any, c: AnotherType): IX {
    return {
        a: a,
        b: b,
        c: c
    }
}

Then you can simply:

var ix: IX = null;
...

ix = new IXClass(...);
// or
ix = ixFactory(...);
Respondent: Nitzan Tomer

Solution #5:

You can use the Partial mapped type as explained in the documentation:
https://www.typescriptlang.org/docs/handbook/release-notes/typescript-2-1.html

In your example, you’ll have:

interface IX {
    a: string;
    b: any;
    c: AnotherType;
}

let x: Partial<IX> = {
    a: 'abc'
}
Respondent: F. Bauer

Solution #6:

I stumbled on this while looking for a better way than what I had arrived at. Having read the answers and trying them out I thought it was worth posting what I was doing as the other answers didn’t feel as succinct for me. It was important for me to only have to write a short amount of code each time I set up a new interface. I settled on…

Using a custom generic deepCopy function:

deepCopy = <T extends {}>(input: any): T => {
  return JSON.parse(JSON.stringify(input));
};

Define your interface

interface IX {
    a: string;
    b: any;
    c: AnotherType;
}

… and define the defaults in a separate const.

const XDef : IX = {
    a: '',
    b: null,
    c: null,
};

Then init like this:

let x : IX = deepCopy(XDef);

That’s all that’s needed..

.. however ..

If you want to custom initialise any root element you can modify the deepCopy function to accept custom default values. The function becomes:

deepCopyAssign = <T extends {}>(input: any, rootOverwrites?: any): T => {
  return JSON.parse(JSON.stringify({ ...input, ...rootOverwrites }));
};

Which can then be called like this instead:

let x : IX = deepCopyAssign(XDef, { a:'customInitValue' } );

Any other preferred way of deep copy would work. If only a shallow copy is needed then Object.assign would suffice, forgoing the need for the utility deepCopy or deepCopyAssign function.

let x : IX = object.assign({}, XDef, { a:'customInitValue' });

Known Issues

  • It will not deep assign in this guise but it’s not too difficult to
    modify deepCopyAssign to iterate and check types before assigning.
  • Functions and references will be lost by the parse/stringify process.
    I don’t need those for my task and neither did the OP.
  • Custom init values are not hinted by the IDE or type checked when executed.
Respondent: Moss Palmer

Solution #7:

Default values to an interface are not possible because interfaces only exists at compile time.

Alternative solution:

You could use a factory method for this which returns an object which implements the XI interface.

Example:

class AnotherType {}

interface IX {
    a: string,
    b: any,
    c: AnotherType | null
}

function makeIX (): IX {
    return {
    a: 'abc',
    b: null,
    c: null
    }
}

const x = makeIX();

x.a = 'xyz';
x.b = 123;
x.c = new AnotherType();

The only thing I changed with regard to your example is made the property c both AnotherType | null. Which will be necessary to not have any compiler errors (This error was also present in your example were you initialized null to property c).

Solution #8:

My solution:

I have created wrapper over Object.assign to fix typing issues.

export function assign<T>(...args: T[] | Partial<T>[]): T {
  return Object.assign.apply(Object, [{}, ...args]);
}

Usage:

env.base.ts

export interface EnvironmentValues {
export interface EnvironmentValues {
  isBrowser: boolean;
  apiURL: string;
}

export const enviromentBaseValues: Partial<EnvironmentValues> = {
  isBrowser: typeof window !== 'undefined',
};

export default enviromentBaseValues;

env.dev.ts

import { EnvironmentValues, enviromentBaseValues } from './env.base';
import { assign } from '../utilities';

export const enviromentDevValues: EnvironmentValues = assign<EnvironmentValues>(
  {
    apiURL: '/api',
  },
  enviromentBaseValues
);

export default enviromentDevValues;
Respondent: Luckylooke

Solution #9:

You could use two separate configs. One as the input with optional properties (that will have default values), and another with only the required properties. This can be made convenient with & and Required:

interface DefaultedFuncConfig {
  b?: boolean;
}

interface MandatoryFuncConfig {
  a: boolean;
}

export type FuncConfig = MandatoryFuncConfig & DefaultedFuncConfig;
 
export const func = (config: FuncConfig): Required<FuncConfig> => ({
  b: true,
  ...config
});

// will compile
func({ a: true });
func({ a: true, b: true });

// will error
func({ b: true });
func({});
Respondent: Steven Vachon

Solution #10:

I use the following pattern:

Create utility type Defaults<T>:

type OptionalKeys<T> = { [K in keyof T]-?: {} extends Pick<T, K> ? K : never }[keyof T];
type Defaults<T> = Required<Pick<T, OptionalKeys<T>>>

Declare class with options/defaults:

// options passed to class constructor
export interface Options {
    a: string,
    b?: any,
    c?: number
}

// defaults
const defaults: Defaults<Options> = {
    b: null,
    c: 1
};

export class MyClass {
    // all options in class must have values
    options: Required<Options>;

    constructor(options: Options) {
        // merge passed options and defaults
        this.options = Object.assign({}, defaults, options);
    }
}

Create class instance:

const myClass = new MyClass({
    a: 'hello',
    b: true,
});

console.log(myClass.options);
// { a: 'hello', b: true, c: 1 }
Respondent: vitalets

Solution #11:

It is depends on the case and the usage. Generally, in TypeScript there are no default values for interfaces.

If you don’t use the default values
You can declare x as:

let x: IX | undefined; // declaration: x = undefined

Then, in your init function you can set real values:

x = {
    a: 'xyz'
    b: 123
    c: new AnotherType()
};

In this way, x can be undefined or defined – undefined represents that the object is uninitialized, without set the default values, if they are unnecessary. This is loggically better than define “garbage”.

If you want to partially assign the object:
You can define the type with optional properties like:

interface IX {
    a: string,
    b?: any,
    c?: AnotherType
}

In this case you have to set only a. The other types are marked with ? which mean that they are optional and have undefined as default value.

Or even

let x: Partial<IX> = { ... }

Which makes all the fields optional.

In any case you can use undefined as a default value, it is just depends on your use case.

Respondent: nrofis

Solution #12:

It’s best practice in case you have many parameters to let the user insert only few parameters and not in specific order.

For example, bad practice:

foo(a?, b=1, c=99, d=88, e?)
foo(null, null, null, 3)

Since you have to supply all the parameters before the one you actually want (d).

Good practice to use is:

foo({d=3})

The way to do it is through interfaces.
You need to define the parameter as an interface like:

interface Arguments {
    a?;
    b?; 
    c?;
    d?;
    e?;
}

And define the function like:

foo(arguments: Arguments)

Now interfaces variables can’t get default values, so how do we define default values?

Simple, we define default value for the whole interface:

foo({
        a,
        b=1,
        c=99,
        d=88,
        e                    
    }: Arguments)

Now if the user pass:

foo({d=3})

The actual parameters will be:

{
    a,
    b=1,
    c=99,
    d=3,
    e                    
}

Another option without declaring an interface is:

foo({
        a=undefined,
        b=1,
        c=99,
        d=88,
        e=undefined                    
    })

I understood it from the following link so big credit 🙂
https://medium.com/better-programming/named-parameters-in-typescript-e32c763d2b2e

Respondent: or soffer

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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