密封类

Sealed classes and interfaces represent restricted class hierarchies that provide more control over inheritance. All direct subclasses of a sealed class are known at compile time. No other subclasses may appear after a module with the sealed class is compiled. For example, third-party clients can't extend your sealed class in their code. Thus, each instance of a sealed class has a type from a limited set that is known when this class is compiled.

The same works for sealed interfaces and their implementations: once a module with a sealed interface is compiled, no new implementations can appear.

In some sense, sealed classes are similar to enum classes: the set of values for an enum type is also restricted, but each enum constant exists only as a single instance, whereas a subclass of a sealed class can have multiple instances, each with its own state.

As an example, consider a library's API. It's likely to contain error classes to let the library users handle errors that it can throw. If the hierarchy of such error classes includes interfaces or abstract classes visible in the public API, then nothing prevents implementing or extending them in the client code. However, the library doesn't know about errors declared outside it, so it can't treat them consistently with its own classes. With a sealed hierarchy of error classes, library authors can be sure that they know all possible error types and no other ones can appear later.

To declare a sealed class or interface, put the sealed modifier before its name:

sealed interface Error

sealed class IOError(): Error

class FileReadError(val file: File): IOError()
class DatabaseError(val source: DataSource): IOError()

object RuntimeError : Error

一个密封类是自身抽象的,它不能直接实例化并可以有抽象(abstract)成员。

Constructors of sealed classes can have one of two visibilities: protected (by default) or private:

sealed class IOError {
    constructor() { /*...*/ } // protected by default
    private constructor(description: String): this() { /*...*/ } // private is OK
    // public constructor(code: Int): this() {} // Error: public and internal are not allowed
}

Location of direct subclasses

Direct subclasses of sealed classes and interfaces must be declared in the same package. They may be top-level or nested inside any number of other named classes, named interfaces, or named objects. Subclasses can have any visibility as long as they are compatible with normal inheritance rules in Kotlin.

Subclasses of sealed classes must have a proper qualified name. They can't be local nor anonymous objects.

enum classes can't extend a sealed class (as well as any other class), but they can implement sealed interfaces.

These restrictions don't apply to indirect subclasses. If a direct subclass of a sealed class is not marked as sealed, it can be extended in any way that its modifiers allow:

sealed interface Error // has implementations only in same package and module

sealed class IOError(): Error // extended only in same package and module
open class CustomError(): Error // can be extended wherever it's visible

Inheritance in multiplatform projects

There is one more inheritance restriction in multiplatform projects: direct subclasses of sealed classes must reside in the same source set. It applies to sealed classes without the expect and actual modifiers.

If a sealed class is declared as expect in a common source set and have actual implementations in platform source sets, both expect and actual versions can have subclasses in their source sets. Moreover, if you use a hierarchical structure, you can create subclasses in any source set between the expect and actual declarations.

Learn more about the hierarchical structure of multiplatform projects.

Sealed classes and when expression

使用密封类的关键好处在于使用 when 表达式的时候。 如果能够验证语句覆盖了所有情况,就不需要为该语句再添加一个 else 子句了。 当然,这只有当你用 when 作为表达式(使用结果)而不是作为语句时才有用。

fun log(e: Error) = when(e) {
    is FileReadError -> { println("Error while reading file ${e.file}") }
    is DatabaseError -> { println("Error while reading from database ${e.source}") }
    RuntimeError ->  { println("Runtime error") }
    // 不再需要 `else` 子句,因为已经覆盖了所有的情况
}

when expressions on expect sealed classes in the common code of multiplatform projects still require an else branch. This happens because subclasses of actual platform implementations aren't known in the common code.