Helper function for setting default Struct key

Setting a default key for an Elixir Struct was something I had searched Google for and had a hard time finding a solution for. I hope this quick post is able to be the solution needed for some of you beautiful devs out there just trying your best.

The set_struct_default function below has an arity of three, accepting a struct, a key to set a default for and a default value. The function body checks if the struct already has a value for the key being checked, if it does it will just return the struct, otherwise it will set the default value.

def set_struct_default(struct, key, default) do
  if Map.has_key?(struct, key) do
    Map.put(struct, key, default)

Note if you’re trying to set a default for a schema based struct like with Ecto or Absinthe then those types libraries typically allow you to define a default for a “field” in the struct as a keyword list option default: "some default string".

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