value_object 0.1.0


A source_gen generator, which allows you to generate ValueObject classes.


The Dart language currently misses value objects, but I find them extremely useful. Probably about 90% of my classes I write produce immutable objects, with all the fields are final. They all look like this:

class FooBar {
  final String foo;
  final String bar;


  FooBar copy({String foo, String bar}) {
    return new FooBar(foo: foo ??, bar: bar ??;

  bool operator ==(other) => other is FooBar && foo == && bar ==;
  int get hashCode => hash([foo, bar]);

  String toString() => "<FooBar foo: $foo, bar: $bar>";

Adding or removing a field is pretty painful, you have to add it to the property list, to the constructor, all the copy and equality methods, to the toString() method. It's easy to make a mistake here, and it's just boring.

I really wish there is a way to support these things natively (like Scala's case classes, for example). But it's not there yet. But for now, we can use source_gen to code generate them.


You have to follow some conventions to properly use generated classes. First, annotate your class with @ValueObject, and add part 'my_lib.g.dart to your lib.

// File my_lib.dart
library my_lib;

import 'package:value_object/value_object.dart';

part 'my_lib.g.dart';

@ValueObject(const {"foo": "String", "bar": "String"})
class FooBar extends _$FooBarValueObject {
  FooBar({String foo, String bar}) : super(foo: foo, bar: bar);

Please note some things here:

  • Add import 'package:value_object/value_object.dart';, it specifies the @ValueObject annotation.
  • Add part 'my_lib.g.dart';, this will be the file source_gen generates.
  • Add @ValueObject annotation, which accepts a const map, which looks like "fieldName": "fieldType"
  • You have to extend your class from the superclass, called _$YourClassNameValueObject, in this case - _$FooBarValueObject
  • Unfortunately, you also have to specify the constructor, which will just pass all the arguments to the superclass. It should use named arguments with exactly the same names as you specified in @ValueObject

Next, you have to create build.dart, which will run the generators. In case you have one already, just add ValueObjectGenerator to it. So, it should look something like this:

// File build.dart
library my_lib.build_file;

import 'package:value_object/value_object_generator.dart';
import 'package:source_gen/source_gen.dart';

main(List<String> args) async {
  var msg = await build(args, const [const ValueObjectGenerator()], librarySearchPaths: ['lib']);

You have to specify the list of generators here (in our case - just one - ValueObjectGenerator and the paths where source_gen will look for the sources to generate (most likely it will be lib).

You have to run dart build.dart every time you change FooBar. For this, if you use Intellij WebStorm or IDEA, you can use the "File Watchers" plugin, and specify it runs dart build.dart every time you change any Dart file in the project.

Now, you can finally use it:

// File main.dart
import 'my_lib.dart';

void main() {
  var fooBar = new FooBar(foo: "wow foo", bar: "much bar");
  var sameFooBar = new FooBar(foo: "wow foo", bar: "much bar");
  print(fooBar == sameFooBar); // => true
  print(fooBar.copy(foo: "doge")); // => <FooBar foo: doge, bar: much bar>
  print(fooBar); // => it wasn't changed, still <FooBar foo: wow foo, bar: much bar>


It still pretty awkward and cumbersome compared to native implementations like e.g. Scala's case classes. Also dart build.dart takes several seconds to run (probably due to analyzer), so not instant experience either. But I still find this useful, hopefully you will find it useful too :)



  • Initial version, created by Stagehand

1. Depend on it

Add this to your package's pubspec.yaml file:

  value_object: "^0.1.0"

2. Install it

You can install packages from the command line:

$ pub get

Alternatively, your editor might support pub. Check the docs for your editor to learn more.

3. Import it

Now in your Dart code, you can use:

import 'package:value_object/value_object.dart';
Version Uploaded Documentation Archive
0.1.0 Oct 8, 2015 Go to the documentation of value_object 0.1.0 Download value_object 0.1.0 archive


A source_gen generator for making value objects


Email Anton Astashov



Source code (hyperlinked)