What is the need for the keyword `var`?

var i int
var i = 10
var i,j = 10, 11

Why can’t they just be…

i int
i :=10 // outside of function / method -- hope i will be auto deducted to int.
i,j := 10, 11

I understand, it could have been just as i, j = 10, 11 but by using :=, we differentiate between general is equal to & auto type deduction, however, keyword var I think looks unnecessary, things that aren’t const qualified implicitly means they could be changed.

Moreover, why Go isn’t allowing auto type deductions like i:=10 outside of function / method body.

var allows specifying the type directly. Sometimes you want that.

Not sure why it doesn’t allow type inference outside function bodies.

what do you mean by this – specifying the type directly?

2 reasons:

  1. Opinionated (e.g. variable counting practice)
  2. For lazy initialization.

You can’t see it now because your current use case and logic are very simple that does not require it. If we have a struct type consisting of, say megabyte size data structure and the initialization values are not guaranteed, you want to initialize it lazily. Consider the following:

func GetData(query string) {
    var data *SomeLargeDataStruct    //  data = nil

    ... do some work does not need data ... // data = nil
    ... some N number of cycles later ... // data = nil
    ... Man, that is a lot of work to process ... // data = nil

    data = GetFromDatabase(query)  // data = megabytes OR data = nil
    if data == nil {               // data = megabytes OR data = nil
        return                       // data = nil

    ... do some work with data ...  // data* = megabytes
  1. As I declare early in the function that I will occupy large memory usage (counting variables), it’s clear to other developers that this function will use data that will consume large memory at some point .
  2. Notice that I do not need to burden my program memory consumption when I’m not using data from the start and should the query fails. It only occupies the data when I query it and wanted to process with it.

Because they are specific and redundant. As in, you have your constant and variable group at your disposal?

const (

var (

I am afraid that, you didn’t get my simple logic, my whole ask was, why we need
var data *SomeLargeDataStruct instead of data *SomeLargeDataStruct

P.s. I took this question to Go slack channel and some of the mates seem to be suggesting keyword var if for “parser optimization”.

Unambiguity of the parser.

1 Like

AS @NobbZ stated, (and even by looking at it yourself), what exactly is data? a constant or variable?

Keep in mind that you can declare and initialize const inside a function although the use case is rare.

As I said, the example you see now is too simple. Once you reach memory pointer and dealing with large data structure or resources consuming functions, var early declaration makes a lot sense because you want to count your total variable usage for memory consumption optimization.

There is even an opinionated practice where a function uses beyond using 12 variables is a natural indication that the function needs to be simplified mainly because we human can track ~12 variables at a time. It’s an opinion.

Speaking of simple, it’s is also because early declaration for every simple variable is too cumbersome, that’s why Go decided to create:= keyword for such use case.

var early declaration makes a lot sense

You still don’t get it, nonetheless, thanks for your time.

The exact one example you gave can be seen two ways if you allow for implicit variable declaration without var.

It can either be a multiplication or a declaration. So it’s for disambiguing in the parser. Full stop.

1 Like

I am ok if it is for the sake of parsing. Which example are you referencing?

foo *Bar

we can avoid parser getting confused with Multiplication vs Declaration without var, however placing var seems to be a simple and effective approach – sake of performance