Tiny library for C++ enum introspection and more!


#smart_enum Tiny library for C++ enum introspection... and more!

(Sorry for this readme being incomplete, I'm working on updating it. For now, please see examples and tests.cpp. Thanks!)

##Motivating example Command-line processing:

#include "smart_enum.hpp"

#include <iostream>

void function_1();
void function_2();
void function_3();

// define "enum class" (use "SMART_ENUM" to define "enum") ...
    // ... in namespace "examples" ...
    // ... with name "options" having "char" type ("... enum class options : char ...") ...
    (options, char),
        // ... with member "run_1" having data "runs 'function_1'" and pointer to "function_1" ...
        (run_1, ("runs 'function_1'", &function_1)),
        // ... with member "run_2" having data "runs 'function_2'" and pointer to "function_2"  ...
        (run_2, ("runs 'function_2'", &function_2)),
        // ... with member "run_1" having data "runs 'function_3'" and pointer to "function_3"  ...
        (run_3, ("runs 'function_3'", &function_3))

void function_1()
    std::cout << "In 'function_1'" << std::endl;

void function_2()
    std::cout << "In 'function_2'" << std::endl;

void function_3()
    std::cout << "In 'function_3'" << std::endl;

int main(int argc, char **argv)
    using namespace examples;
    using namespace smart_enum;

    if(argc == 1)
            << "Available options: "
            << "(using '" << full_name<options>() << "' enum having " << count<options>() << " values)"
            << std::endl << std::endl;

        // for each option ...
        for(auto option : range<options>())
            // ... get its data and ...
            auto option_data = data(option);

                // ... print option name ...
                << to_string(option) << " ==> "
                // ... and its description
                << std::get<0>(option_data)
                << std::endl;

        return 0;

    for(auto i = 1; i < argc; ++i)
        auto arg = argv[i];

            // find option based on its name ...
            auto option = from_string<options>(arg);
            // ... and get its data
            auto option_data = data(option);

        catch(const std::invalid_argument &)
            std::cout << "Invalid option " << arg << std::endl;

    return 0;

Running this code without arguments shows:

Available options: (using 'examples::options' enum having 3 values)

run_1 ==> runs 'function_1'
run_2 ==> runs 'function_2'
run_3 ==> runs 'function_3'

Running it with arguments run_1 xxx run_3 shows:

In 'function_1'
Invalid option xxx
In 'function_3'

##Library usage If you are using Boost then just add smart_enum.hpp to your project and you're done. If not then also add included boost directory which contains subset of Boost.

##Supported compilers Tested with Clang (3.5.2, 3.7.0), g++ (4.7.3, 5.3.0) and MSVC 2015, but any compiler with C++ 11 support should be fine.

##License Uses standard Boost license.

If you find this library useful I'll be glad if you star this repo :-) Any feedback is welcome!

  • Usage inside namespaces/structs

    Usage inside namespaces/structs


    Unfortunately, it seems like the current approach cannot play nice with declaring an enum inside a namespace or struct. The reason being is that there is no way to do the template specialization of the traits class while nested in that namespace. Since most enums (like all things) are declared within a namespace, this seems like major issue.

    The preferred solution, IMHO (and the only clean way to get it to work with structs) is to replace the proper templated traits struct, with a simple identified based struct. So instead of generating an enum/enum class called e_1, and a specialization of smart_enum::enum_traits<e_1>, you would instead just generate a struct e_1_traits. It can still inherit from the templated base to gain some of the functionality. I've tried changing some things in the macros to make this change; I don't think it's that hard but it's not trivial either.

    What do you think? It's less elegant, but IMHO much more practical.

    Other than that it looks fantastic, I took it for a spin today and it works perfectly.

    opened by quicknir 7
  • To/from string support

    To/from string support

    There's a couple of related points here. First, it would be good to have some kind of conversion function that goes from string to an enum. Second, a couple of thoughts on the to-string interface, currently given by description. The name: could description be changed to something more idiomatic like to_string? Also, this is possibly related: what's the use case for allowing a description different from the name of the enum? Since the name of the enum doesn't actually affect the code at all, it seems like this adds more complexity and potential confusion for little benefit. The only application I see is to handle either "scoped" or unscoped names, but this could be handled by a trait or different to_string functions (or booleans).

    opened by quicknir 3
  • Support For Iteration

    Support For Iteration

    Hi, very nice library. I'm curious, do you have an appetite for adding support for iteration? I would suggest supporting two syntaxes:

    using e1_traits = smart_enum::enum_traits<e_1>;
    std::for_each(e1_traits.begin(), e1_traits.end(), ...);
    for ( auto e : e1_traits::range() ) { 

    range() would just return a trivial object with begin and end methods. Obviously doing this properly is a bit of work (need cbegin and rbegin variants ideally)

    opened by quicknir 2
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