Re: Dynamic enums

Lew <>
Tue, 11 Oct 2011 19:03:46 -0700 (PDT)
Linus Flustillbe wrote:

Let's say I have an ENUM defined as

public enum xxx {
  A, B, C, D, E

Now here's my question.
Let's say I have a table called foobar which has the following rows

A 1
B 2
C 3
D 4
E 5

My code is written and is working great. The enum xxx is used as a
lookup on the foobar table. If I add a row to foobar like

F 6

I need to add another enum to the xxx enum and rebuild my project.

So my question is, is there something like a dynamic enun: by this
could I call a method on the xxx enum like

xxx.addnew("F") that would make F a valid enum of xxx and not have to
rebuild my project?

You can do it, though I don't have the patience to go into a whole lot of detail just now. You have to sacrifice the built-in conveniences that 'enum' enjoys as a special part of the language, in favor of the flexibility you require.

You write a "type-safe enumeration" class of your own. At a minimum you should support a 'fromString()' and 'toString()' method similar to real enums' 'valueOf()' and 'toString()'.

/Effective Java/, first edition, had a chapter on this that might by googlable. The book itself is in the second edition and that chapter was removed due to the presence of enums in 5 and on.

Essentially you create static immutable instances of your custom class and use a private (or package-private) constructor.


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