Introducing ducktor: Duck typed constructors for Rust structs with wasm-bindgen JsValue

Interacting with JavaScript objects in WebAssembly can be challenging, especially when it comes libraries providing an ergonomic API for exported functions using wasm-bindgen. One specific limitation is the inability to pass bare objects directly to functions expecting exported types. This limitation becomes frustrating, particularly when working with shared code. This ends up requiring creating wrappers around the generated code by wasm-bindgen.

I’m excited to announce the release of ducktor, a new Rust crate that provides a solution to this problem. With ducktor, you can now create instances of your structs easily from JsValues.

The Challenge

Let’s take a look at a common scenario where this limitation arises. Suppose you are creating a Rust library that exposes the following API:

pub struct Data {
    key_id: String,
    name: String,

pub fn do_work(data: Data) -> String {
        key_id: {}
        name: {}
    "#, data.key_id, data.name)

In this example, we define a Data struct and a function do_work that takes an instance of Data and performs some operations. Now, imagine you want to call this function from JavaScript, passing in an object that matches the structure of Data:

  key_id: 'key_id',
  name: 'name',

Unfortunately, this pattern is not currently possible with wasm-bindgen due to the restrictions it imposes. It requires the object passed to the function to be an instance of Data class exported by wasm-bindgen. However, you can call do_work with a bare object if it takes a JsValue (or any imported type). This is where ducktor comes in: it converts the JsValue into your the Rust structs using duck typing.

Introducing ducktor

ducktor is a Rust crate that enables you to create types from wasm_bindgen::JsValue using duck typing. With ducktor, you can define a struct that describes the fields and types you expect from a JavaScript object (represented by JsValue), and then use the #[derive(FromJsValue)] macro to implement From<JsValue> for your struct. This allows you to leverage Rust’s type system and syntax when working with JavaScript objects in WebAssembly.

Why ducktor?

There are a few cases where the the ways of describing types provided by wasm-bindgen is not enough, such as:

I ran into these cases when creating a Rust/WASM replacement for a JS module at $day_job and pushed me to create ducktor.

How does ducktor work?

ducktor works by defining and importing a non-existent JavaScript type that matches the fields and types of your struct. It then coerces the JsValue into this type using JsValue::unchecked_ref and creates the struct by extracting the values of each field from the JavaScript type.

Using ducktor: An Example

To illustrate the usage of ducktor, let’s consider a simple example:

use ducktor::FromJsValue;

struct Data {
    a: u32,
    b: String,

fn roundtrip() {
    let data =

    js_sys::Reflect::set(&data, &"a".into(), &42.into()).unwrap();
    js_sys::Reflect::set(&data, &"b".into(), &"string".into()).unwrap();

    let data: Data = Data::from(&data.into());

    assert_eq!(data.a, 42);
    assert_eq!(data.b, "string");

In this example, we define a Data struct with an a field of type u32 and a b field of type String. We then create a JavaScript object using js_sys::Object::new() and set the values of a and b using js_sys::Reflect::set(). Finally, we convert the JsValue representing the JavaScript object into a Data struct using the from method provided by the #[derive(FromJsValue)] macro. This allows us to seamlessly work with the JavaScript object in a type-safe and idiomatic Rust manner.