An item is a component of a crate. Items are organized within a crate by a nested set of modules. Every crate has a single "outermost" anonymous module; all further items within the crate have paths within the module tree of the crate.
Items are entirely determined at compile-time, generally remain fixed during execution, and may reside in read-only memory.
There are several kinds of items:
- function definitions
- type definitions
- struct definitions
- enumeration definitions
- union definitions
- constant items
- static items
- trait definitions
Some items form an implicit scope for the declaration of sub-items. In other words, within a function or module, declarations of items can (in many cases) be mixed with the statements, control blocks, and similar artifacts that otherwise compose the item body. The meaning of these scoped items is the same as if the item was declared outside the scope — it is still a static item — except that the item's path name within the module namespace is qualified by the name of the enclosing item, or is private to the enclosing item (in the case of functions). The grammar specifies the exact locations in which sub-item declarations may appear.
Functions, type aliases, structs, enumerations, unions, traits and
implementations may be parameterized by type. Type parameters are given as a
comma-separated list of identifiers enclosed in angle brackets (
the name of the item (except for implementations, where they come directly
impl) and before its definition.
The type parameters of an item are considered "part of the name", not part of the type of the item. A referencing path must (in principle) provide type arguments as a list of comma-separated types enclosed within angle brackets, in order to refer to the type-parameterized item. In practice, the type-inference system can usually infer such argument types from context. There are no general type-parametric types, only type-parametric items. That is, Rust has no notion of type abstraction: there are no higher-ranked (or "forall") types abstracted over other types, though higher-ranked types do exist for lifetimes.