What the Heck is an ENUM?
In my latest post Explore your [Environment] I said the following:
IsPublic IsSerial Name BaseType
——– ——– —- ——–
False True SpecialFolder System.Enum
Notice that it is an ENUM. The great things about ENUMS is that when you specify an invalid value – it tells you what the valid values are:
One of the comments made me realize that a lot of people will have no idea what I’m talking about so I thought I would spend a minute explaining.
ENUM is short for ENUMERATION. In .NET, ENUM is a base class for a set of named constants. You can think of it as a set of strings (that is not entirely accurate but for our purposes – it is a perfect explanation. So when you see that something takes an ENUM, what it means is that it doesn’t just take any old string – it takes one of a set of strings.
What is that set of string? – That’s the beauty of an ENUM, it will tell it. All you have to do is to provide a wrong value and it will tell you what the right values are.
Jeffrey Snover [MSFT]
Windows Management Partner Architect
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