Re: Particular Example about why should we not use GOTO

Juha Nieminen <nospam@thanks.invalid>
Sun, 01 Apr 2007 12:52:26 +0300
Victor Bazarov wrote:

Also, Juha, consider this: did you form your opinion (I'm referring
to your sentence that starts with "IMO") based on your experience (of
never needing 'goto'), or did you happen to fall prey to prejudice
[against 'goto'] to avoid it and hence always managed to rewrite the
code so that 'goto' isn't used? I am not asking to respond, I am
just asking to think about it.

  I do know the "good uses" of 'goto'. However, I have never found
myself needing to use it.
  I have found, however, that usually the alternative clean solution
to using goto is better encapsulation. The thing is that the "good
use" of 'goto' often deals with resource management/freeing, and
I have found that encapsulation is a much safer and cleaner way for
resource handling, and a good implementation actually makes the code
better, safer and more reusable.

  Just as a very small example to visualize what I mean: When you
handle C-style "strings" (ie. dynamically allocated char arrays)
in a function, you constantly need to be very careful to free
everything you have allocated at each exit point of the function.
Because it's tedious to write all the same freeing calls at each
exit point, 'goto' is sometimes used to jump to the end of the
function where everything is freed.
  However, compare that to using std::string in C++: You don't have
to worry about freeing them because they will be automatically freed
when the function is exited. You don't need to use 'goto'. At the
same time the function becomes cleaner, easier to read and, most
importantly, *safer*.

  And no, I'm not saying that's the only "good use" of 'goto'.
I just wrote one example of what I'm talking about.

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