idanshmu idanshmu - 1 year ago 49
C++ Question

c++: ensure enum values are unique at compile time

I have the following

that describes error codes:

typedef enum {
et_general = 0,
et_undef = 500
} EErrorType;

The main reason why I explicitly write the enum values, is to ease the debug process.

Anyways, I wonder if there's a way, to make the compiler complain about non unique values.
I can always check it at run time easily, but I'd like to avoid that.

I've read this post and reviewed this answer. As I understand, that answer suggests to generate the enum in such way that it "make it much harder to make mistakes".

I'd would like to leave the enum definition as is, or close to it.

pmr pmr
Answer Source

I'm not sure if Boost is available in your scenario, so here is a solution where the enum has to be defined in a pre-processor sequence. That sequence is then used to build the enum and a corresponding mpl::vector and we compute if the elements of the vector are unique in an odd-fashion. We might want to define a proper is_unique algorithm first, but this should do.

#include <boost/mpl/vector.hpp>
#include <boost/mpl/int.hpp>
#include <boost/mpl/sort.hpp>
#include <boost/mpl/unique.hpp>
#include <boost/mpl/size.hpp>

#include <boost/preprocessor/tuple/elem.hpp>
#include <boost/preprocessor/seq/enum.hpp>
#include <boost/preprocessor/seq/transform.hpp>

#define MYENUM ((FOO, 0))((BAR, 1))((BAZ, 2))

#define GET_NAME(_, __, elem) BOOST_PP_TUPLE_ELEM(2, 0, elem) = BOOST_PP_TUPLE_ELEM(2, 1, elem)
#define GET_VALUE(_, __, elem) boost::mpl::int_<BOOST_PP_TUPLE_ELEM(2, 1, elem)>

enum E {

typedef boost::mpl::sort< 
  >::type evalues;

typedef boost::mpl::unique< evalues, boost::is_same<boost::mpl::_1, boost::mpl::_2> >::type uniqued;
static_assert(boost::mpl::size<uniqued>::value == boost::mpl::size<evalues>::value, "enum values not unique");

int main()

  return 0;

If you change the enum definition to:

#define MYENUM ((FOO, 0))((BAR, 1))((BAZ, 2))((BAZZ, 2))

you will get an error stating the static_assert failed "enum values not unique".