[enhanced enums] - end of the road?

Peter Levart peter.levart at gmail.com
Thu Jun 15 16:12:36 UTC 2017

On 06/15/2017 04:53 PM, Maurizio Cimadamore wrote:
>> I think there is a solution though which does not even require sealed 
>> interfaces. Take your example with Generic<T> as plain interface:
>> enum Option {
>>    D implements Generic<String>("-d", ...) { ... }
>>    PROC implements Generic<ProcOption>("-proc", ...) { ... }
>>    ...
>> }
>> ...and then use the following method signature:
>> public <Z, O extends Option & Generic<Z>> Z get(O option) { ... }
> Yes - that's even better :-)
> Maurizio 

...but why stop there. Currently, it is not possible (in source code) to 
subclass enum(s) even though they are not technically final because 
constants can have custom subclasses. What is also enforced in source is 
that enum constructor(s) are implicitly private and that they can not be 
called explicitly. What if this subclassing constraint was lifted, but 
just the subclassing constraint - enum constructor(s) would still be 
enforced private and not explicitly callable except when chained from 
subclass. What this would amount to is that enum(s) could be subclassed 
by classes that are able to chain-call enum constructors - enum member 
classes (anonymous or local enum subclasses would be disallowed). If 
some enum member class subclassed the enum, its constructor(s) would get 
additional implied 'name' and 'ordinal' parameters and would fall under 
the same restriction as enum's constructor(s) - they would be implicitly 
and enforced private and not explicitly callable except when chained 
from subclass. This would amount to the following possibility:

public enum Option {

     D extends Generic<String>("-d", "default"),
     PROC extends Generic<ProcOption>("-proc", ProcOption.DEFAULT);

     public class Generic<T> extends Option {

         final T defaultValue;

         /* private */ Generic(String opt, T defaultValue) {
             this.defaultValue = defaultValue;

     final String opt;

     /* private */ Option(String opt) {
         this.opt = opt;

...the constants would optionally be able to extend any enum's subclass 
and/or implement any additional interfaces. There could be multiple enum 
subclasses (all constrained to be enum member classes) and each constant 
could independently choose to extend any one of them or none.

What do you think of that?

Regards, Peter

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