Arturo Herrero

OpenFastStruct

After having a lot of fun building YARR, I have built a new Ruby gem.

OpenFastStruct is a data structure, similar to an OpenStruct, that allows the definition of arbitrary attributes with their accompanying values. It benchmarks ~3x slower than a Hash, but it’s ~4x faster than OpenStruct.

The project was featured on issue #239 of Ruby Weekly newsletter and was a Ruby trending repository on GitHub for two days.

Examples

Basic usage

require "ofstruct"

person = OpenFastStruct.new
person.name = "John Smith"
person.age  = 70

puts person.name     # -> "John Smith"
puts person.age      # -> 70
puts person.address  # -> #<OpenFastStruct>

Initialize and update from a Hash

An OpenFastStruct uses a Hash internally to store the methods and values, and can even be initialized or updated with one:

require "ofstruct"

person = OpenFastStruct.new(:name => "John Smith")
puts person.name  # -> "John Smith"

person.update(:name => "David Smith", :age => 70)
puts person.name  # -> "David Smith"
puts person.age   # -> 70

Remove attributes

Removing the presence of a method requires the execution of the #delete_field method, which sets the property value to a new empty OpenFastStruct.

require "ofstruct"

person = OpenFastStruct.new
person.name = "John Smith"
person.delete_field(:name)
puts person.name  # -> #<OpenFastStruct>

Black hole object

An OpenFastStruct instance is a black hole object that supports infinite chaining of attributes.

require "ofstruct"

person = OpenFastStruct.new
person.address.number = 4
puts person.address.number  # -> 4

Benchmarks

Probably you heard that you should never, ever use OpenStruct because the performance penalty is prohibitive. You can use OpenFastStruct instead!

Comparation between Hash, OpenFastStruct and OpenStruct

Calculating -------------------------------------
                Hash    25.518k i/100ms
      OpenFastStruct    10.527k i/100ms
          OpenStruct     3.236k i/100ms
-------------------------------------------------
                Hash    487.517k (±11.9%) i/s -      2.399M
      OpenFastStruct    159.952k (± 4.0%) i/s -    800.052k
          OpenStruct     45.602k (± 4.7%) i/s -    229.756k

Comparison:
                Hash:   487516.9 i/s
      OpenFastStruct:   159952.4 i/s - 3.05x slower
          OpenStruct:    45601.6 i/s - 10.69x slower