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When to Use Enumerated Data for Code Generation

You can use enumerated types to represent program states and to control program logic, especially when you need to restrict data to a finite set of values and refer to these values by name. Even though you can sometimes achieve these goals by using integers or strings, enumerated types offer the following advantages:

  • Provide more readable code than integers

  • Allow more robust error checking than integers or strings

    For example, if you mistype the name of an element in the enumerated type, you get a compile-time error that the element does not belong to the set of allowable values.

  • Produce more efficient code than strings

    For example, comparisons of enumerated values execute faster than comparisons of strings.

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