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Why Many Return Statements Are a Bad Idea in OOP
is very old, but I have something to say too. The question
is whether a method may have multiple
return statements or always
just one. The answer may surprise you: In a pure object-oriented
world, a method must have a single
return statement and nothing else.
Yes, just a
return statement and that's it. No other operators
or statements. Just
return. All arguments in favor of multiple
return statements go against the very idea of object-oriented programming.
This is a classical example:
The code above has two
return statements, and it is shorter than this one
with a single
More verbose, less readable, and slower, right? Right.
This is the code in a pure object-oriented world:
What do you think now? There are no statements or operators. No
if and no
Instead, there are objects of class
This is a pure and clean object-oriented approach.
However, Java doesn't have that. Java (and many other pseudo OOP languages)
gives us operators like
while, etc. instead
of giving built-in classes, which would do the same. Because of that, we continue
to think in terms of procedures and keep talking about whether
return statements are better than one.
If your code is truly object-oriented, you won't be able to have more than
return. Moreover, you will have nothing except a
return in each method.
Actually, you will have only two operators in the entire
return. That's it.
Until we're there, let's stick with just one
return and at least try to look
like pure OOP.