Tutorial :Is this goto expressive?



Question:

The following code was a proof of concept for a message batching routine. Do I avoid goto like the plague and rewrite this code? Or do you think the goto is an expressive way to get this done?

If you'd rewrite please post some code...

var queue = new Queue<TraceItem>(this.batch);  while (this.connected)  {      byte[] buffer = null;      try      {          socket.Recv(out buffer);      }      catch      {          // ignore the exception we get when the socket is shut down from another thread          // the connected flag will be set to false and we'll break the loop      }    HaveAnotherMessage:      if (buffer != null)      {          try          {              var item = TraceItemSerializer.FromBytes(buffer);              if (item != null)              {                  queue.Enqueue(item);                    buffer = null;                  if (queue.Count < this.batch && socket.Recv(out buffer, ZMQ.NOBLOCK))                  {                      goto HaveAnotherMessage;                  }              }          }          catch (Exception ex)          {              this.ReceiverPerformanceCounter.IncrementDiagnosticExceptions();              this.tracer.TraceException(TraceEventType.Error, 0, ex);          }      }        // queue processing code  }  


Solution:1

Replace the goto with a do-while, or simply a while loop if you don't want the "always run once" functionality you have right now.

var queue = new Queue<TraceItem>(this.batch);  while (this.connected)  {      byte[] buffer = null;      try      {          socket.Recv(out buffer);      }      catch      {          // ignore the exception we get when the socket is shut down from another thread          // the connected flag will be set to false and we'll break the loop      }        do {          if (buffer != null)          {              try              {                  var item = TraceItemSerializer.FromBytes(buffer);                  if (item != null)                  {                      queue.Enqueue(item);                      buffer = null;                  }              }              catch (Exception ex)              {                  this.ReceiverPerformanceCounter.IncrementDiagnosticExceptions();                  this.tracer.TraceException(TraceEventType.Error, 0, ex);              }          }      } while(queue.Count < this.batch && socket.Recv(out buffer, ZMQ.NOBLOCK))        // queue processing code  }  


Solution:2

Goto will get you into some sticky situations

Pretty much sums up my thoughts on "goto."

Goto is bad programming practice for many reasons. Chief among them is that there is almost never a reason for it. Someone posted a do..while loop, use that. Use a boolean to check if you should continue. Use a while loop. Goto's are for interpreted languages and a call back to assembler days (JMP anyone?). You're using a high level language for a reason. So that you and everyone else doesn't look at your code and get lost.


To keep this answer somewhat current I'd like to point out that a combination of goto and bracing errors caused a major SSL bug in iOS and OS X.


Solution:3

It's so amazingly easy to rid yourself of GOTO in this situation it makes me cry:

var queue = new Queue<TraceItem>(this.batch);  while (this.connected)  {      byte[] buffer = null;      try      {          socket.Recv(out buffer);      }      catch      {          // ignore the exception we get when the socket is shut down from another thread          // the connected flag will be set to false and we'll break the loop      }      bool hasAnotherMessage = true      while(hasAnotherMessage)      {          hasAnotherMessage = false;          if (buffer != null)          {              try              {                  var item = TraceItemSerializer.FromBytes(buffer);                  if (item != null)                  {                      queue.Enqueue(item);                        buffer = null;                      if (queue.Count < this.batch && socket.Recv(out buffer, ZMQ.NOBLOCK))                      {                          hasAnotherMessage = true;                      }                  }              }              catch (Exception ex)              {                  this.ReceiverPerformanceCounter.IncrementDiagnosticExceptions();                  this.tracer.TraceException(TraceEventType.Error, 0, ex);              }          }      }      // queue processing code  }  


Solution:4

I guess the goto is SLIGHTLY more readable intuitively... But if you WANTED to avoid it I think all you'd have to do is throw the code in a while(true) loop, and then have a break statement at the end of the loop for a normal iteration. And the goto could be replaced with a continue statement.

Eventually you just learn to read and write loops and other control flow structures instead of using goto statements, at least in my experience.


Solution:5

Kind of related to Josh K post but I'm writing it here since comments doesn't allow code.

I can think of a good reason: While traversing some n-dimensional construct to find something. Example for n=3 //...

for (int i = 0; i < X; i++)      for (int j = 0; j < Y; j++)          for (int k = 0; k < Z; k++)              if ( array[i][j][k] == someValue )              {                  //DO STUFF                  goto ENDFOR; //Already found my value, let's get out              }  ENDFOR: ;  //MORE CODE HERE...  

I know you can use "n" whiles and booleans to see if you should continue.. or you can create a function that maps that n-dimensional array to just one dimension and just use one while but i believe that the nested for its far more readable.

By the way I'm not saying we should all use gotos but in this specific situation i would do it the way i just mentioned.


Solution:6

You could refactor is to something like this.

while (queue.Count < this.batch && buffer != null)  {      try      {          var item = TraceItemSerializer.FromBytes(buffer);          buffer = null;          if (item != null)          {              queue.Enqueue(item);              socket.Recv(out buffer, ZMQ.NOBLOCK)          }      }      catch (Exception ex)      {          this.ReceiverPerformanceCounter.IncrementDiagnosticExceptions();          this.tracer.TraceException(TraceEventType.Error, 0, ex);      }  }  


Solution:7

Umm, I'm not really sure you want to goto out of a try block. I'm pretty sure that is not a safe thing to do, though I'm not 100% sure on that. That just doesn't look very safe...


Solution:8

Wrap the "HaveAnotherMessage" into a method that takes in the buffer and may call itself recursively. That would seem to be the easiest way to fix this.


Solution:9

I would avoid goto in this case, and refactor it. The method reads too long in my opinion.


Solution:10

I think your method is too big. It mixes different levels of abstraction, like error processing, message retrieval and message processing.

If you refactor it in different methods, the goto naturally goes away (note: I assume your main method is called Process):

...    private byte[] buffer;  private Queue<TraceItem> queue;    public void Process() {    queue = new Queue<TraceItem>(batch);    while (connected) {      ReceiveMessage();      TryProcessMessage();    }  }    private void ReceiveMessage() {    try {      socket.Recv(out buffer);    }    catch {      // ignore the exception we get when the socket is shut down from another thread      // the connected flag will be set to false and we'll break the processing    }  }    private void TryProcessMessage() {    try {      ProcessMessage();    }    catch (Exception ex) {      ProcessError(ex);    }  }    private void ProcessMessage() {    if (buffer == null) return;    var item = TraceItemSerializer.FromBytes(buffer);    if (item == null) return;    queue.Enqueue(item);    if (HasMoreData()) {      TryProcessMessage();    }  }    private bool HasMoreData() {    return queue.Count < batch && socket.Recv(out buffer, ZMQ.NOBLOCK);  }    private void ProcessError(Exception ex) {    ReceiverPerformanceCounter.IncrementDiagnosticExceptions();    tracer.TraceException(TraceEventType.Error, 0, ex);  }    ...  

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
Previous
Next Post »