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# How not to abuse a "for loop": examples?

At the page:
http://www.strath.ac.uk/IT/Docs/Ccou...00000000000000
or
http://tinyurl.com/4ptzs

the author warns:
"The for loop is frequently used, usually where the loop will be
traversed a fixed number of times. It is very flexible, and novice
programmers should take care not to abuse the power it offers."

Could someone give an example of this abuse? I'm googling for
c misuse "for loop"
c abuse "for loop"
with little luck.

I'd like to see what *not* to do :)

Toby
Nov 14 '05 #1
32 4666
On 9 Aug 2004, Toby Newman wrote:
the author warns:
"The for loop is frequently used, usually where the loop will be
traversed a fixed number of times. It is very flexible, and novice
programmers should take care not to abuse the power it offers."

Could someone give an example of this abuse? I'm googling for
c misuse "for loop"
c abuse "for loop"
with little luck.

I'd like to see what *not* to do :)

for (a(), b(), c(), d(), e(), f(), g();
h(), i(), j(), k(), l(), m(), n(), o(), p();
q(), r(), s(), t(), u(), v(), w(), x(), y(), z())
;

Tak-Shing

Nov 14 '05 #2
"Toby Newman" <go****@asktoby .com> wrote in message
news:25******** *************** ***@posting.goo gle.com...

"The for loop is frequently used, usually where the loop will be
traversed a fixed number of times. It is very flexible, and novice
programmers should take care not to abuse the power it offers."

Could someone give an example of this abuse? I'm googling for
c misuse "for loop"
c abuse "for loop"
with little luck.

I'd like to see what *not* to do :)

for (i = 0; i < 100; i += (i == 98) ? -97 : 2)

for (; *++argv
&& (fp = fopen(*argv, "rb"))
&& fread(buffer, 10, 10, fp) == 10
&& fclose(fp) != EOF; )

Although, I'm guilty of both. ;)

--
Peter
Nov 14 '05 #3
Toby Newman wrote:
At the page:
http://www.strath.ac.uk/IT/Docs/Ccou...00000000000000
or
http://tinyurl.com/4ptzs

the author warns:
"The for loop is frequently used, usually where the loop will be
traversed a fixed number of times. It is very flexible, and novice
programmers should take care not to abuse the power it offers."

Could someone give an example of this abuse? I'm googling for
c misuse "for loop"
c abuse "for loop"
with little luck.

I'd like to see what *not* to do :)

Toby

for (i = 0; i < 100; ++i)
{
--i;
}

float j;
for (j = 0.0; j != 10.0; j += 0.1)
{
}

unsigned int m;
for (m = 9; m > 0; m -= 2)
{
}

--
Thomas Matthews

C++ newsgroup welcome message:
http://www.slack.net/~shiva/welcome.txt
C++ Faq: http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite
C Faq: http://www.eskimo.com/~scs/c-faq/top.html
alt.comp.lang.l earn.c-c++ faq:
http://www.comeaucomputing.com/learn/faq/
Other sites:
http://www.josuttis.com -- C++ STL Library book

Nov 14 '05 #4
On Mon, 9 Aug 2004, Toby Newman wrote:
At the page:
http://www.strath.ac.uk/IT/Docs/Ccou...00000000000000
or
http://tinyurl.com/4ptzs

the author warns:
"The for loop is frequently used, usually where the loop will be
traversed a fixed number of times. It is very flexible, and novice
programmers should take care not to abuse the power it offers."

Could someone give an example of this abuse? I'm googling for
c misuse "for loop"
c abuse "for loop"
with little luck.

I'd like to see what *not* to do :)

There is nothing you can do with the for loop that you cannot do with the
while loop. For some bizzare reason, people tend to abuse the comma
operator in a for loop but not in a while loop. The for loop has three
sections:

for(init; check; incr)

The init section is where you initialize variables used in the for loop. A
little abuse happens here. People initialize a number of variables here
when they could have been initialized before the loop. I like to do this
if the variables are relative to the loop. If I initialize them at the top
of scope the initialization might not be visible while I step through the
for loop.

The big abuse is in the check section. Here you should be checking to see
if the for loop should exit of not. Some times programmers will stick a
number of statements that could just as easily fit in the body of the loop
into this section. This often makes for a hard to read bit of code.

Another place for abuse is the incr section. This is the section that you
should be incrementing something. If you use a for loop for stepping
through a known number of iterations then this section should just be
incrementing the counter used to keep track of the iterations.

There are no hard and fast rules on this. I often see:

while((c = getchar()) != EOF) {
/* code */
}

getting converted to:

for(; (c = getchar()) != EOF; /* code */);

It is all a matter of coding conventions or style.

--
Send e-mail to: darrell at cs dot toronto dot edu
Don't send e-mail to vi************@ whitehouse.gov
Nov 14 '05 #5
In article <25************ **************@ posting.google. com>,
At the page:
http://www.strath.ac.uk/IT/Docs/Ccou...00000000000000
or
http://tinyurl.com/4ptzs

the author warns:
"The for loop is frequently used, usually where the loop will be
traversed a fixed number of times. It is very flexible, and novice
programmers should take care not to abuse the power it offers."

Could someone give an example of this abuse? I'm googling for
c misuse "for loop"
c abuse "for loop"
with little luck.

I'd like to see what *not* to do :)

--------
for(in=fopen(fi lename,"r");in& &fgets(buf,size of buf,in);)
{
/*do stuff with this line of the file*/
}
--------
/*i is unsigned*/
for(i=1;i;i*=2)
{
/*do stuff with this power of 2*/
}
/*we fall out when we hit max(i)+1 and the unsigned arithmetic wraps
back around to 0
*/
--------
A favorite of mine, that falls under "uncommon" but not "abuse", is:
--------
{
/*Do stuff with this list node*/
}
--------
to walk through a linked list.
dave

--
Dave Vandervies dj******@csclub .uwaterloo.ca
[This] is otherwise known as 'learning by experience'. I don't often
come across people who publicly state they're not interested in that.
--Arthur van der Harg in the scary devil monastery
Nov 14 '05 #6
Dave Vandervies wrote:
A favorite of mine, that falls under "uncommon" but not "abuse", is:
--------
{
/*Do stuff with this list node*/
}
--------
to walk through a linked list.

Is that really so uncommon? It seems like the natural way to traverse a
linked list. (Except that I would explicitly test for curr != NULL, since
curr is not a boolean value. But that's also a matter of taste).
Christian
Nov 14 '05 #7
"Christian Kandeler" <ch************ ****@hob.de> wrote in message
news:2n******** ****@uni-berlin.de...
Dave Vandervies wrote:
A favorite of mine, that falls under "uncommon" but not "abuse", is:
--------
{
/*Do stuff with this list node*/
}
--------
to walk through a linked list.

Is that really so uncommon? It seems like the natural way to traverse a
linked list. (Except that I would explicitly test for curr != NULL, since
curr is not a boolean value. But that's also a matter of taste).

curr != NULL or curr != 0?
I'm confused now, after the Null Pointer thread... "Keith!!! Where are
you?!!"

--
Mabden
Nov 14 '05 #8
Mabden wrote:

"Christian Kandeler" <ch************ ****@hob.de> wrote in message
news:2n******** ****@uni-berlin.de...
Dave Vandervies wrote:
(Except that I would explicitly test for curr != NULL, since
curr is not a boolean value. But that's also a matter of taste).

curr != NULL or curr != 0?

Since the point of writing curr != NULL or curr != 0
instead of just (;curr;) is to enhance legibility,
I think it makes sense to write curr != NULL
When I read (curr != NULL), that tells me that the author
thought that curr was a pointer, when he wrote the code.
Nov 14 '05 #9
go****@asktoby. com (Toby Newman) wrote in message news:<25******* *************** ****@posting.go ogle.com>...
"The for loop is ... very flexible, and novice
programmers should take care not to abuse the power it offers."

Could someone give an example of this abuse? ...
I'd like to see what *not* to do :)

http://tinyurl.com/2452h/wnim.htm

Hope this helps,
James
Nov 14 '05 #10

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