Thursday, 17 October 2013

Goto Statement in Programming

“goto” Statement

Up to now we have covered the basic programming constructs. These include sequences, decisions and repetition structures (i.e. loops). In sequences, we use the simple statements in a sequence i.e. one after the other. In decisions construct we use the if statement, if/else statement, the multi way decision construct (i.e. the switch statement). And in repetition structures, we use the while, do-while and for loops.
Sometime ago, two computer scientists Gome and Jacopi proved that any program can be written with the help of these three constructs (i.e. sequences, decisions and loops).

There is a statement in the computer languages COBOL, FORTRAN and C. This statement is goto statement is used to jump the control anywhere (back and forth) in a program. In legacy programming, the programs written in COBOL and FORTRAN languages have many unconditional branches of execution. To understand and decode such programs that contain unconditional branches is almost impossible. In such programs, it is very difficult, for a programmer, to keep the track of execution as the control jumps from one place to the other and from there to anywhere else. We call this kind of traditional code as spagatti code. It is very difficult to trace out the way of execution and figure out what the program is doing. And debugging and modifying such programs is very difficult. When structured programming was started, it was urged not to use the goto statement. Though goto is there in C language but we will not use it in our programs. We will adopt the structured approach. All of our programs will consist of sequences, decisions and loops.

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