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Effective Java, 2nd Edition by Joshua Bloch

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Chapter 6. Enums and Annotations

In release 1.5, two families of reference types were added to the language: a new kind of class called an enum type, and a new kind of interface called an annotation type. This chapter discusses best practices for using these new type families.

Item 30: Use enums instead of int constants

An enumerated type is a type whose legal values consist of a fixed set of constants, such as the seasons of the year, the planets in the solar system, or the suits in a deck of playing cards. Before enum types were added to the language, a common pattern for representing enumerated types was to declare a group of named int constants, one for each member of the type:

// The int enum pattern - severely deficient! public static final ...

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