Loop-and-a-half (Re: Curious assignment behaviour)

Dale Strickland-Clark dale at riverhall.NOSPAMco.uk
Thu Oct 11 20:17:09 CEST 2001

Donn Cave <donn at u.washington.edu> wrote:

>I sort of regret wasting bandwidth on this purely academic question,
>but it's a matter of truly venerable tradition that C's loop is a
>bit shy of perfection.  The idea as I understand it, is that there
>are essentially two control points in a loop, the entry, and the
>conditional repeat.  C conflates those two in one, because both
>entry and the conditional repeat have to be at the "top".

I didn't suggest it was perfect, just that I liked it.


>People who claim that C fixes this just expose the limitations of
>their thinking.  C does not fix this, by allowing an assignment
>there, except in the restricted case where the pre-conditional
>part of the loop can fit into one expression.  (Note that I'm not
>talking about the initialization section of for(), which is a
>pure non-feature - those statements can just as well be written
>before the loop.)

Not so. It can avoid an extra enclosing block in cases such as:

if (x==y) 
	for (initialise loop; ....) 
		do something

Which is less fussy than

if (x==y)
{	initialise loop
	for (....)
		do something

Dale Strickland-Clark
Riverhall Systems Ltd

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