Nonempty: Rust library for non-empty collections

Correct by Construction Non-Empty List

This package exposes a type NonEmpty<T> with a data representation that guarantees non-emptiness statically:

struct NonEmpty<T>(T, Vec<T>)

The library is meant to have an interface similar to std::vec::Vec:

use nonempty::NonEmpty;

let mut l = NonEmpty::new(42);

assert_eq!(l.first(), &42);


let v: Vec<i32> = l.into();
assert_eq!(v, vec![42, 36, 58]);

A Non-empty growable vector.

Non-emptiness can be a powerful guarantee. If your main use of Vec is as an Iterator, then you may not need to distinguish on emptiness. But there are indeed times when the Vec you receive as as function argument needs to be non-empty or your function can't proceed. Similarly, there are times when the Vec you return to a calling user needs to promise it actually contains something.

With NonEmpty, you're freed from the boilerplate of constantly needing to check is_empty() or pattern matching before proceeding, or erroring if you can't. So overall, code, type signatures, and logic become cleaner.

Consider that unlike Vec, NonEmpty::first and NonEmpty::last don't return in Option, they always succeed.


The simplest way to construct a NonEmpty is via the nonempty macro:

use nonempty::{NonEmpty, nonempty};

let l: NonEmpty<u32> = nonempty![1, 2, 3];
assert_eq!(l.head, 1);

Unlike the familiar vec! macro, nonempty! requires at least one element:

use nonempty::nonempty;

let l = nonempty![1];

// Doesn't compile!
// let l = nonempty![];

Like Vec, you can also construct a NonEmpty the old fashioned way with NonEmpty::new or its constructor:

use nonempty::NonEmpty;

let mut l = NonEmpty { head: 42, tail: vec![36, 58] };
assert_eq!(l.head, 42);

assert_eq!(l.last(), &9001);

And if necessary, you're free to convert to and from Vec:

use nonempty::{NonEmpty, nonempty};

let l: NonEmpty<u32> = nonempty![42, 36, 58, 9001];
let v: Vec<u32> = l.into();
assert_eq!(v, vec![42, 36, 58, 9001]);

let u: Option<NonEmpty<u32>> = NonEmpty::from_vec(v);
assert_eq!(Some(nonempty![42, 36, 58, 9001]), u);


Since NonEmpty must have a least one element, it is not possible to implement the FromInterator trait for it. We can't know, in general, if any given Iterator actually contains something.


  • serialize: serde support.

Download details:

Author: cloudhead

License:  MIT license


Nonempty: Rust library for non-empty collections
1.40 GEEK