[Python-ideas] PEP XXX - Competitor with PEP 435: Adding an enum type to the Python standard library

Alex Stewart foogod at gmail.com
Tue Mar 12 23:46:24 CET 2013

On Tue, Mar 12, 2013 at 3:16 PM, Ethan Furman <ethan at stoneleaf.us> wrote:

> Sadly, no.  There seems to be two basic camps:  those that think an enum
> should be valueless, and have nothing to do with an integer besides using
> it to select the appropriate enumerator (that just looks strange -- I hope
> you're right Stephen!); and those for whom the integer is an integral part
> of the enumeration, whether for sorting, comparing, selecting an index, or
> whatever.

To be honest, I really don't think these two camps are as irreconcilable as
lots of people seem to be treating them.  I don't think either view is
necessarily wrong, and I firmly believe that we can find a common ground
that works for both ways of approaching this issue.  More importantly,
however, I believe we *must* try to find some way to coexist or anything we
come up with will be fundamentally inadequate for a substantial portion of
the community, and in that case, I don't think it belongs in the stdlib.
 If we can't compromise a bit, I think we're all doomed to failure.

I do recognize that the issue of transitive equality is something we're
going to need to work out.  One thing I think folks need to keep in mind,
though, is that that issue really has nothing to do with int-enums vs.
valueless-enums at all.  It will still be a point of contention even if we
go with solely the "enums are ints" way of looking at things, so that
really won't solve it.  (The fundamental issue is: int-enums are (by
definition) both ints, and named-objects.  When not explicitly or
implicitly being used as an int, should they still behave like ints first
and named-objects second, or should they be named-objects first and ints
second?  Both ways have some problems, and we will ultimately need to
choose which set of problems will be the least annoying in the long term,
but that's a completely separate discussion than the int/valued/valueless
question, IMHO.)

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