Improving Program Design with Jump Tables and Error Handling



Mar 09, 2024 β€’ 3 min read


Improving Program Design with Jump Tables and Error Handling


In software development, program specifications often change, leading to the addition of new functionalities. As a result, if-else statements can become lengthy and difficult to manage. This article explores the use of jump tables to handle if-else statements and the importance of error handling in improving program design.

Jump Tables for Handling if-else Statements:

When adding new functionalities to a program, the if-else statements can become increasingly long. Even if the tasks within the if-else statements are separated into separate functions, the if-else statements themselves can still become lengthy. To address this, we can create a structure with two fields: the user's input command and the code that the program needs to execute based on that command. By pre-storing the pairs of supported commands and their corresponding codes, the program can easily find and execute the appropriate code based on the user's input. If an unsupported command is entered, the program can return an error.

Improving Program Design through Jump Tables:

To create a program that is easy to maintain and modify, it is essential to design the program's overall structure effectively. The structure should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in program specifications and additional features. To achieve code flexibility, it is crucial to differentiate between elements that change and elements that remain constant.

Elements that change include:

  • 1. User input commands and their corresponding codes: These can be considered as a collection of mutable values.
  • 2. Data variables: These can include values stored in memory or other types of data, such as images or music.

Elements that remain constant include:

  • 1. Functions: Functions do not change even when program specifications or features are modified.
  • 2. Unchanging aspects of the program: These include the fact that the user enters commands and that actions need to be executed based on those commands.

By clearly distinguishing between mutable and immutable elements, we can design a program structure that is more flexible and easier to maintain.

The Role of Error Handling:

Error handling is crucial in determining how a program behaves when encountering errors. Proper error handling ensures that any actions performed before the error occurred are rolled back, such as closing open files or releasing allocated memory. Even in short code snippets, error handling should always be included. The way error handling is implemented can significantly impact the overall structure and quality of the code.

Error handling often results in longer functions, as it requires executing code to be rolled back when an error occurs. However, this does not affect the main function if it is called repeatedly, as the state before and after the function call remains the same. Error handling can be implemented using techniques such as goto statements or try-catch blocks. While goto statements may result in more concise code, the use of try-catch blocks provides a clearer structure for error handling.


To create a software program that is both flexible and maintainable, it is essential to consider the design of the program and incorporate techniques such as jump tables and proper error handling. By organizing code using jump tables, if-else statements can be managed more efficiently, even as program specifications change. Additionally, error handling ensures that the program behaves appropriately when encountering errors and allows for the rollback of any actions performed prior to the error.

Actionable Advice:

1. Implement jump tables to handle if-else statements. Separate the user's input commands and the corresponding code into a structure and pre-store the pairs for easy retrieval and execution.

2. Design the overall program structure to be flexible, distinguishing between elements that change (such as user input commands) and elements that remain constant (such as functions).

3. Properly implement error handling to ensure that actions performed before an error occurred are rolled back. Consider using techniques such as try-catch blocks for clearer error handling.

By following these pieces of advice, you can improve the design of your programs, making them more adaptable and easier to maintain.


  1. "02. μ ν”„ν…Œμ΄λΈ”(jump-table, branch-table)을 μ΄μš©ν•œ if-else 처리", (Glasp)
  2. "01. μ—λŸ¬μ²˜λ¦¬", (Glasp)

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