It is not unusual to create classes whose main purpose is to hold data. In such classes, some standard functionality and some utility functions are often mechanically derivable from the data. In Kotlin, these are called data classes and are marked with
The compiler automatically derives the following members from all properties declared in the primary constructor:
toString()of the form
componentN()functions corresponding to the properties in their order of declaration.
copy()function (see below).
To ensure consistency and meaningful behavior of the generated code, data classes have to fulfill the following requirements:
The primary constructor needs to have at least one parameter.
All primary constructor parameters need to be marked as
Data classes cannot be abstract, open, sealed, or inner.
Additionally, the generation of data class members follows these rules with regard to the members’ inheritance:
If there are explicit implementations of
toString()in the data class body or
finalimplementations in a superclass, then these functions are not generated, and the existing implementations are used.
If a supertype has
componentN()functions that are
openand return compatible types, the corresponding functions are generated for the data class and override those of the supertype. If the functions of the supertype cannot be overridden due to incompatible signatures or due to their being final, an error is reported.
Providing explicit implementations for the
copy()functions is not allowed.
Data classes may extend other classes (see Sealed classes for examples).
Properties declared in the class body
The compiler only uses the properties defined inside the primary constructor for the automatically generated functions. To exclude a property from the generated implementations, declare it inside the class body:
Only the property
name will be used inside the
copy() implementations, and there will only be one component function
component1(). While two
Person objects can have different ages, they will be treated as equal.
copy() function to copy an object, allowing you to alter some of its properties while keeping the rest unchanged. The implementation of this function for the
User class above would be as follows:
You can then write the following:
Data classes and destructuring declarations
Component functions generated for data classes make it possible to use them in destructuring declarations:
Standard data classes
The standard library provides the
Triple classes. In most cases, though, named data classes are a better design choice because they make the code more readable by providing meaningful names for the properties.