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From Aristedes Maniatis <>
Subject Re: Enum best practices
Date Wed, 16 Jan 2008 23:01:26 GMT

On 17/01/2008, at 9:32 AM, Kevin Menard wrote:

> That's largely what I'm trying to avoid.  I don't want a bunch of  
> integer
> values that have no meaning without the corresponding Java code.  I  
> suppose
> SQL comments are one way to go or external documentation, but each  
> has its
> own set of downsides.

1. Use VARCHAR instead and use meaningful names: "hold", "cancelled",  
etc. Not an approach I'd take, but an option.

2. I've been meaning to work on modeler docs for so long now. I've  
even got some code written for this, but not nearly done. [1]

My point is that this enumerated field approach (as opposed to a  
related table) should only be used if the meaning is tied in deeply to  
the code (eg. cancelled invoices are removed from profit and loss  
calculations automatically by the system). So it is inevitable that  
the meaning is embedded within Java. The trick is to make sure it is  
clearly and simply documented. And that you can't assign a value of 10  
to the status field when they only go to 9.

What would be really cool would be the ability within the modeler to  
define an enumeration which is attached to an attribute. You would  
define the values and names. Cayenne would then create the enum class  
with cgen. Then the model describes the complete picture and many more  
people would use enums instead of arbitrary integer values. Right now  
enums are a bit boring to create (I've got one enum attribute in a  
project I work on).



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