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valast - convert Go values to their AST Hexops logo

Go Reference

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Valast converts Go values at runtime into their go/ast equivalent, e.g.:

x := &foo.Bar{
    a: "hello world!",
    B: 1.234,

Prints string:

&foo.Bar{a: "hello world!", B: 1.234}

What is this useful for?

This can be useful for debugging and testing, you may think of it as a more comprehensive and configurable version of the fmt package's %+v and %#v formatting directives. It is similar to e.g. repr in Python.


  • Produces Go code via a go/ast, defers formatting to the best-in-class Go formatter gofumpt.
  • Fully handles unexported fields, types, and values (optional.)
  • Strong emphasis on being used for producing valid Go code that can be copy & pasted directly into e.g. tests.
  • Extensively tested, over 88 tests and handling numerous edge cases (such as pointers to unaddressable literal values like &"foo" properly, and even finding bugs in alternative packages').

Alternatives comparison

The following are alternatives to Valast, making note of the differences we found that let us to create Valast:

You may also wish to look at autogold and go-cmp, which aim to solve the "compare Go values in a test" problem.