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While statement (3) in your example is dubious, statement (2) and its else block are completely legitimate if statements (1) and (2) both cause early exit from the block. If statement (2) does not cause an early exit, the else should be removed (or changed to a comment # else ...) and statement (2) promoted to the same position as statement (3), leaving statement (1) as a conditional early exit. If statements (1) and (2) both cause early exits, statement (3) is dead code and should be removed.

I think I see your rationale, in that an else block can be redundant in these situations, since the entire rest of the block after a conditional early exit is effectively an "else" block without the additional indentation level. I still say that a rule that else should never be used in this context is ridiculous because it can be used to cause the indentation to line up and produce clearer code, particularly in the case where one of two (or of multiple, if elsif is used) possible return values should be chosen. In such a context, using the final else allows all of the return statements to line up at the same indentation level, producing clearer code, especially if K&R brace placement is used.


In reply to Re^6: What's the right way to write a method which returns one line at a time from a file? by jcb
in thread What's the right way to write a method which returns one line at a time from a file? by Cody Fendant

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