[thelist] Proper commenting and code maintainance

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Fri Dec 15 09:09:38 CST 2006

On 12/15/06, Brooking, John <John.Brooking at sappi.com> wrote:
> That reminds me of another best practice I learned so long ago it's
> almost subconscious, that a function should only have one return
> statement. So for instance if your function could return an error number
> at a variety of points, it's clearer to set a variable to the error
> number, use conditionals if necessary to prevent the rest of the
> function from executing if that variable is set, then return the
> variable once at the end.

Agreed. Perhaps an exception (no pun intended): In JavaScript it's
common to see this:

foo: function(arg1, arg2)
   if (!document.getElementById) return false;
   if (!arg1) return false;
   if (!arg2) return false;

  // ... real code here ...


which is an almost self-documenting way of coding preconditions for
the method. (Not to say documentation isn't necessary, just that the
code is highly readable.)

Matt Warden
Cleveland, OH, USA

This email proudly and graciously contributes to entropy.

More information about the thelist mailing list