Better Enums

Reflective compile-time enums for C++

Open-source under the BSD license

Version 0.11.3

To install, just add enum.h to your project.

Visit the GitHub repo for issues, feedback, and the latest development.

Download enum.h GitHub

Welcome to the Better Enums tutorials! The code in this tutorial forms a valid program, which you can download and play with. The program runs as part of the automated test suite.

Compile-time usage

When used with C++11, Better Enums are generated entirely during compilation. All the data is available for use by your own constexpr functions. The examples in this tutorial aren't very useful, but look at the demos at the bottom of the main page to get an idea of what can be done. Here, you will see the basics.

#include <iostream>

// The reason for this is explained below.

#include <enum.h>

BETTER_ENUM(Channel, int, Red = 1, Green = 2, Blue = 3)

constexpr Channel      channel = Channel::_from_integral(2);
constexpr int          value = channel._to_integral();

constexpr const char   *name = channel._to_string();
constexpr Channel      parsed = Channel::_from_string("Red");

All of the above are computed during compilation. The reason for the macro definition at the top of the file is explained on the opt-in features page. Basically, it makes _to_string constexpr, but slows down compilation.

You can also do things such as:

constexpr size_t length(const char *s, size_t index = 0)
    return s[index] == '\0' ? index : length(s, index + 1);

constexpr size_t    length_of_name_of_second_constant =

int main()
    std::cout << length_of_name_of_second_constant << std::endl;

    return 0;

Which prints "5", the length of "Green". That 5 was also computed during compilation.