Talk:Enums in Eiffel

Revision as of 18:07, 3 May 2007 by Peter gummer (Talk | contribs)

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--Peter gummer 04:07, 4 May 2007 (CEST) This is a great article, Paul. I'm frequently amazed at how often I encounter INTEGER used in situations where (coming from C, Delphi and C#) I would have expected an enum. Your example is amazing; this habit of using INTEGER is even worse than I realised!

But there is one other problem with using INTEGER that you haven't mentioned, and it's actually the problem that I encounter most frequently. As the user of a library, writing code to use something like EV_TEXT_ALIGNABLE is difficult because I cannot use code completion to discover instantly what values are allowed. I have to figure it out laboriously by studying the class and then studying another class.

One thing I don't understand (and maybe this is because "This Page is Under Development") is why do we need language support for enums? EV_TEXT_ALIGNMENT is just a class. We could write EV_TEXT_ALIGNMENT today with all of the benefits that you've shown. Would the only benefit of language support be to make enums easier to write? This in itself is worthwhile if it reduces the use of INTEGER.

Would Eiffel enums be expanded? Would they be frozen, like C# enums?