Module turtle::rand [] [src]

Utilities for generating random values

The entire rand crate which allows you to generate random values is re-exported for your convenience. That means that you can use any of its parts by importing from this module. See the documentation for rand_crate.

extern crate turtle;
use turtle::rand::Rand;

The random() function is the most common function you will use. In fact, it's exported from the turtle crate directly so you don't even have to use the rand module in order to access it.

Instead of this:

extern crate turtle;
use turtle::Turtle;
use turtle::rand::random;

You can do this:

extern crate turtle;
use turtle::{Turtle, random};

This means that for the most part, unless you are doing something very advanced, you won't need to import this module. The random() function should be enough for most cases. See the next section for more information on that.

Generating Random Values

The random() function allows you to generate random values for many different types. The following are some examples of types that can be used with random():

  • Distance - f64 values greater than or equal to 0.0 and less than 1.0
  • Angle - f64 values greater than or equal to 0.0 and less than 1.0
  • Speed - any speed value in the valid range, not including instant
  • Color - colors with random red, green, blue and alpha values (use opaque() to get a solid random color)
  • Point - a random point with two f64 values greater than or equal to 0.0 and less than 1.0
  • and more!

Using random() often requires you to specify a type that you want to generate. For example, if you run the following, the compiler will tell you that it needs you to give it more information about the type that you want to generate:

This example deliberately fails to compile
let mut turtle = Turtle::new();

This will produce an error that looks something like the following:

error[E0283]: type annotations required: cannot resolve `_: std::convert::Into<turtle::Speed>`
 --> src/
5 | turtle.set_speed(random());
  |        ^^^^^^^^^

To resolve this, you can either annotate the type by generating the random value in a separate variable, or use Rust's "turbofish" syntax.

let mut turtle = Turtle::new();
// 1. Separate out into a variable, then annotate the desired type
let speed: Speed = random();
// 2. Turbofish syntax ::<T>

Generating Random Values in a Range

The random_range() function allows you to generate values in a given range. You provide a lower bound and an upper bound. The number generated will be greater than or equal to the lower bound and strictly less than the upper bound.

// Generates an f64 value between 394.0 and 499.99999...
let value: f64 = random_range(394.0, 500.0);
assert!(value >= 394.0 && value < 500.0);
// Generates a u64 value between 32 and 64
let value = random_range::<u64>(32, 65);
assert!(value >= 32 && value <= 64);
// You do not need to specify the type if the compiler has enough information:
fn foo(a: u64) {}
foo(random_range(381, 920));

Most types that can be used with random() can also be used with random_range(). This includes all of the types listed above.

When random_range() is used to generate a Point, it creates a random point within the rectangle formed by the two points given as arguments to random_range(). This is illustrated in the example below:

// Generates a Point value with:
//   x-coordinate between 46.0 and 99932.0
//   y-coordinate between 309.0 and 1803.0
let value: Point = random_range([99932.0, 309.0].into(), [46.0, 1803.0].into());
assert!(value.x >= 46.0 && value.x < 99932.0);
assert!(value.y >= 309.0 && value.y < 1803.0);

How can one function generate so many different return types?

Knowing how random() works is not required in order to be able to use it. That being said, it is an excellent example of combing the concepts of "generics" and "traits". If you are not familiar with those concepts yet, take a look at the Rust book. It has an excellent section on both generics and traits.

The type signature of the random() function is similar to the following:

This example deliberately fails to compile
fn random<T: Rand>() -> T { /* ... */ }

This tells us the following:

  • The random() function takes no arguments and returns a value of type T
  • The generic type T is required to implement the Rand trait

This is the incredible part about this function. It requires zero arguments, and yet can generate all kinds of values. This is because while it doesn't require any parameters, it does take a single type argument in order to determine what type to generate a value of. This is done at compile time so no work needs to be performed at runtime in order to determine the type to generate or how to generate it.

This also explains why we sometimes need to use the turbofish syntax (::<T>) in order to specify the type T. When a function requires a type argument and doesn't take that argument as one of its parameters, the compiler can often end up in a situation where it doesn't have the necessary information to determine which type to return. The turbofish syntax and type annotations provide two different ways to clarify what we want.

That being said, there are a lot of situations where the compiler can figure out what type we need. Each of the types we covered above, implements the Rand trait. We specified which type we would like the function to return by annotating the variable that we assigned the random value to.

let speed: Speed = random();

If we were passing the value to a function that is known to take Speed as its type, the compiler can use that information to determine the return type of random(). The following example compiles without any additional annotations:

fn foo(speed: Speed) {}
// No type annotations required!

This generates a random speed using the implementation of Rand for the Speed type in this crate.

The Orphan Rule

Not all of the implementations of Rand for the types above are implemented in this crate. There is a rule known as the orphan rule which prevents anyone from implementing a trait on a type that they do not define. That is why we implemented Rand for Speed, Color, and Point, but not for type aliases like Distance. Distance is a type alias for f64. f64 is provided by the standard library, so we cannot implement any traits for it. The implementations of Rand for types like that come from the rand crate itself.


pub use rand_crate::*;





Generates a random value in the given range.