This debate 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 two
return statements are better than one.
If your code is truly object-oriented, you won't be able to have more than one
return. Moreover, you will have nothing except a
return in each method. Actually, you will have only two operators in the entire software—
return. That's it.
Until we're there, let's stick with just one
return and at least try to look like pure OOP.