Re: Numeric constants vs enumerated strings

>On Wed, 15 Feb 2012 14:57:00 +0100, Harald Alvestrand
><> wrote:
>> *This is a call for help from the WEBRTC working group.
>> We are defining a new API
>> ( <about:blank>which
>> has a number of cases where it needs to use arguments, or expose state
>> variables, that can take only a limited set of values.
>Unless there are strong ties to certain legacy APIs I would suggest using
>strings. They are easier for developers to author, easier for developers
>to maintain, easier in the future to extend, and have practically no

I second that. Authors barely ever used the defined constants (for good
reason, some implementations were missing them) preferring to use integers

Instead of seeing the verbose but descriptive:

    if (node.nodeType == Node.ELEMENT_NODE) { ... }

one came across the following more often than not:

    if (node.nodeType == 1) { ... }

to which: 

    if (node.nodeType ==  "element") { ... }

should be preferred.

Constants would only have practical benefits over strings if they were
defined in the global scope, as in:

    if (node.nodeType == NODE_ELEMENT_NODE) { ... }

as typos would be caught early on (undeclared variables throw


Received on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 14:39:40 UTC