Daily Archives: April 29, 2009

Coders without shame

I’ve been running into a good deal of bad computer code lately.  Here’s an example from an actual tutorial.  I’ve renamed the variable to protect the shameless:

if (count == 0) return false;
return true;

Why not this:

return (count != 0);

There are some god-forsaken languages in which returning the evaluation of a boolean expression is not valid (e.g. the creeping horror which goes by the name Open Office Basic).  C and C++ are not among these.   Yet, I’ve been running across a good dozen cases where the coders did not realize that.

In case someone would like to object: I know it is possible to just return count and let the compiler do an implicit conversion to bool but an explicit test makes the code clearer.  The additional “if … then” does not.