How to increment sequential Const values when adding a new one in the middle

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I have a code like this

const
value1 = 1;
value2 = 2;
value4 = 3;
.
.
.
valuen = n;

and say I want to add value3 = 3; to the list without having to deal with the pain of editing all the values to n.

Is there a intrinsic method or a trick that can be done to make this easier in the future?

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No, there is no way to update the values of the consts if they are defined that way and if a new value is inserted somewhere in the middle. But see below: there are ways to achieve this.

Enumerations

But you could use an enumeration instead:

type
  ValueType = (
    value1 = 1,   // 1
    value2,       // 2
    value4,       // 3
    ...
    valuen);      // n 

You can easily add a value3, and all subsequent values shift accordingly:

type
  ValueType = (
    value1 = 1,   // 1
    value2,       // 2
    value3,       // 3
    value4,       // now: 4
    ...
    valuen);      // now: n+1 

This also makes them typesafe. Of course, if you really want to use them as integers, you will have to cast: Integer(value3) (to read or write) or use Ord(value3) (to read). But you would typically use them directly as enumerations. You can also easily create sets out of these, which is much harder with constants.

Constants

Of course, if you really want to use constants, you can do what others do in such circumstances:

const
  value1 = 1;              // 1
  value2 = value1 + 1;     // 2
  value4 = value2 + 1;     // 3
  value5 = value4 + 1;     // 4
  // etc...

Now, if you want to add a value3, you'll only have to update a few values:

const
  value1 = 1;          // 1
  value2 = value1 + 1; // 2 
  value3 = value2 + 1; // new: 3
  value4 = value3 + 1; // modified: 4 
  value5 = value4 + 1; // now: 5
  // etc...

This is of course less typesafe and requires more work.

Parameters that require bitwise operations

For an API that always expects an integral type or even or-ed/and-ed combinations of such integers, and which I can't modify, I would use integral constants again:

type
  Flags = Cardinal;
const
  Flag1 = 1;           // 1
  Flag2 = Flag1 shl 1; // 2
  Flag3 = Flag2 shl 1; // 4
  Flag4 = Flag3 shl 1; // 8
  // etc.

Used like:

MyAPIFunc('Hello, world', Flag1 or Flag3 or Flag4);

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You can use the Succ() function. Of course, using enumerations are easier to understand, but this is the direct answer to your question.

Example:

const
  value1 = 1;
  value2 = succ(value1);
  value4 = succ(succ(value2));
  value5 = succ(value4);
  value6 = succ(value5);

To insert Value3, you have only to change value4 and leave value5 and value6 unchanged.:

const
  value1 = 1;
  value2 = succ(value1);
  value3 = succ(value2);
  value4 = succ(value3);
  value5 = succ(value4);

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Comments
  • No. There's no IDE magic that will renumber constants for you. You'll need to edit them yourself, or use a different data type (like a constant array, for instance).
  • Write a program to do this. This is exactly why you learn a language like Python so you can do this in a couple of minutes.
  • Use an enum if you don't mind typecasting. type TValues = (value1 = 1, value2, value3, ...);
  • It's slightly embarassing, but I'd use Excel for this: Replace all ` = ` with tabstops and copy it over to an empty Excel sheet. Then use the column autofill feature and so on...
  • A dirty trick: Select all lines of constants you want to increment. Make a Search & Replace for ";" to "+1;" with scope current selection.
  • Where were you yesterday?, I'm about to cry because of this answer
  • So I be happy, I reverted the file to an old version and tried this, It is wonderful and it really takes seconds. thank you
  • Please add that the shortcut is ctrl + O + C
  • Idiom is to use Ord() to obtain ordinal value of an enum value
  • For now I'm painfully editing the consts by myself, but I think the first option would be more appropriate for the future (I wonder how the Guys at emba are editing control messages when they want to add new ones).
  • @Nasreddine: David is right. If they add a new one, they don't want the others to change their values.
  • There's really no scenario where you need to integer cast. Use Ord to go from enum to ordinal. Cast to the enumerated type to go in the other direction. I'm not sure why you are so attached to that cast.
  • @David: I am not really attached to the cast, but if you want an integer, it is not uncommon to cast to one.
  • This is in essence a subset of Rudy's answer.
  • I tried using this, but I have one problem with it takes readability away (what if the difference between v2 an v4 is 5? ), Thank you for your help