Is there a simple way to convert C++ enum to string?


Question

Suppose we have some named enums:

enum MyEnum {
      FOO,
      BAR = 0x50
};

What I googled for is a script (any language) that scans all the headers in my project and generates a header with one function per enum.

char* enum_to_string(MyEnum t);

And a implementation with something like this:

char* enum_to_string(MyEnum t){
      switch(t){
         case FOO:
            return "FOO";
         case BAR:
            return "BAR";
         default:
            return "INVALID ENUM";
      }
 }

The gotcha is really with typedefed enums, and unnamed C style enums. Does anybody know something for this?

EDIT: The solution should not modify my source, except for the generated functions. The enums are in an API, so using the solutions proposed until now is just not an option.

1
116
12/15/2015 5:54:31 AM

Accepted Answer

You may want to check out GCCXML.

Running GCCXML on your sample code produces:

<GCC_XML>
  <Namespace id="_1" name="::" members="_3 " mangled="_Z2::"/>
  <Namespace id="_2" name="std" context="_1" members="" mangled="_Z3std"/>
  <Enumeration id="_3" name="MyEnum" context="_1" location="f0:1" file="f0" line="1">
    <EnumValue name="FOO" init="0"/>
    <EnumValue name="BAR" init="80"/>
  </Enumeration>
  <File id="f0" name="my_enum.h"/>
</GCC_XML>

You could use any language you prefer to pull out the Enumeration and EnumValue tags and generate your desired code.

46
10/14/2008 4:03:32 PM

X-macros are the best solution. Example:

#include <iostream>

enum Colours {
#   define X(a) a,
#   include "colours.def"
#   undef X
    ColoursCount
};

char const* const colours_str[] = {
#   define X(a) #a,
#   include "colours.def"
#   undef X
    0
};

std::ostream& operator<<(std::ostream& os, enum Colours c)
{
    if (c >= ColoursCount || c < 0) return os << "???";
    return os << colours_str[c];
}

int main()
{
    std::cout << Red << Blue << Green << Cyan << Yellow << Magenta << std::endl;
}

colours.def:

X(Red)
X(Green)
X(Blue)
X(Cyan)
X(Yellow)
X(Magenta)

However, I usually prefer the following method, so that it's possible to tweak the string a bit.

#define X(a, b) a,
#define X(a, b) b,

X(Red, "red")
X(Green, "green")
// etc.

Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with: Stack Overflow
Icon