Saturday, March 26, 2016

cannot convert data (type interface {}) to type string: need type assertion

According to the Go specification:

   For an expression x of interface type and a type T, the primary expression x.(T) asserts that x is not nil and that the value stored in x is of type T.

A "type assertion" allows you to declare an interface value contains a certain concrete type or that its concrete type satisfies another interface.

In your example, you were asserting data (type interface{}) has the concrete type string. If you are wrong, the program will panic at runtime. You do not need to worry about efficiency, checking just requires comparing two pointer values.

If you were unsure if it was a string or not, you could test using the two return syntax.

str, ok := data.(string)

If data is not a string, ok will be false. It is then common to wrap such a statement into an if statement like so:

if str, ok := data.(string); ok {
    /* act on str */
} else {
    /* not string */


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