Python Enum combination

September 06, 2017, at 9:31 PM

I would like to create a new Enum (IntEnum) class based on two existing ones. There is a working solution for this, like so:

from enum import unique, IntEnum
from itertools import chain
from collections import OrderedDict
class FirstEnumClass(IntEnum):
    a = 1
    b = 2
class SecondEnumClass(IntEnum):
    c = 3
    d = 4
# here a combined class is created:
CombinedEnumClass = unique(IntEnum('CombinedEnumClass', OrderedDict([(, i.value) for i in chain(FirstEnumClass, SecondEnumClass)])))

My question: is there a fancy way to achieve this, so that there is a proper class definition? Like overriding some of the metaclass methods, or so? I would like something like this, so that docstring can also be given:

class CombinedEnumClass(IntEnum):
    """ docstring """
    # magic needed here

Any idea? Thanks!

Answer 1

The library prevents explicitly to do that:

Subclassing an enumeration is allowed only if the enumeration does not define any members.

Allowing subclassing of enums that define members would lead to a violation of some important invariants of types and instances. On the other hand, it makes sense to allow sharing some common behavior between a group of enumerations.

Therefore, I found a Stackoverflow answer using almost the same workaround as you do. I think this is the only way.

Answer 2

Using a trick with vars() this can be accomplished:

class CombinedEnum(IntEnum):
    """ doc string """
    cls = vars()
    for member in chain(list(FirstEnumClass), list(SecondEnumClass)):
        cls[] = member.value
    del member, cls

This works because:

  • vars() returns the current namespace
  • modifying that namespace modifies the class

We delete member and cls because we don't want them to become members.

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