November 5, 2009

PHP 5.3 and the dangers of ‘goto’

khallmark @ 9:14 pm —

PHP 5.3 came out recently. For better or worse, the great PHP gods decided it would be a good idea to add ‘goto’ to the language. Up until now, PHP has never had ‘goto’. The question I’ve been bouncing around in my head is “Why?!”. In my 15 years programming (yes I really have been programming since the age of 10), I don’t think I have ever used a “goto” statement in a real program. Maybe in my first Hypercard stack, or using Basic in my 7th grade computer class, I may have.

My stance has always been, and will always be, ‘goto’ is a crutch for the lazy. It enables bad design. Sure, it might be easier to code one rare algorithm using a ‘goto’ statement. This is not the majority. The majority of algorithms can be implemented without ‘goto’, it just takes more thought. I cannot think of any algorithm that requires ‘goto’.

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