The Importance of Error Handling and Utilizing Jump Tables for If-Else Statements



Mar 03, 2024 β€’ 3 min read


The Importance of Error Handling and Utilizing Jump Tables for If-Else Statements

Error handling and the use of jump tables are two essential concepts in programming that can greatly improve the structure and quality of code. In this article, we will explore these topics in depth and discuss how they contribute to the overall design and flexibility of a program.

Error handling is the process of determining what actions to take when encountering an error. It involves undoing any actions that were performed prior to the error, such as closing files or deallocating memory. Even in short snippets of code, error handling is crucial. If a function cannot be executed to completion and needs to be terminated prematurely, it is necessary to undo any actions that were performed up until that point.

One common approach to error handling is using exceptions. By utilizing the "goto" statement, the code can jump to a specific location where the error handling code is located. This results in cleaner and more concise error handling code. It is important to note that error handling is essentially a subset of the original task that the function was intended to perform, but in reverse order.

On the other hand, if-else statements can become lengthy and cumbersome as a program's specifications change and new functionalities are added. As more user commands are introduced, the if-else statements tend to grow in size. Even if separate functions are called for the tasks within the if-else statements, the overall length of the if-else structure cannot be avoided.

To address this issue, one effective technique is to utilize jump tables, also known as branch tables, for handling if-else statements. This involves separating the tasks that need to be performed within the if-else statements and storing them in a data structure. This data structure consists of a pair of fields: the user command and the corresponding code to be executed by the program. By predefining the pairs of supported user commands and their respective codes, the program can execute the appropriate code based on the user's input.

Implementing a jump table involves using a loop to search for a match between the user's input and the predefined (command, code) pairs. If the user enters a command that is not supported, an error can be returned. The key advantage of using jump tables is that even when the program's specifications change or new commands are added or removed, the core code of the short_if function remains unchanged. Only the pairs in the jump table need to be modified. This flexibility allows for easier maintenance and adaptability in the long run.

To create a well-designed and maintainable program, it is crucial to consider the overall structure and flexibility of the code. By distinguishing between elements that change and those that remain constant, a program can be designed to effectively handle variations in user input or program specifications. This concept applies not only to user commands but also to variables, data values, and other elements that may change.

In conclusion, error handling and the use of jump tables are vital components of programming that contribute to the overall quality and flexibility of a program. By implementing proper error handling techniques and utilizing jump tables for if-else statements, developers can create code that is easier to maintain, adapt, and enhance.

Actionable Advice:

1. Implement comprehensive error handling throughout your codebase. Consider how errors should be handled and what actions should be taken in the event of an error. This will improve the overall quality and reliability of your program.

2. Utilize jump tables for complex if-else statements. By separating tasks into a data structure, you can easily modify and maintain your code as program specifications change or new functionalities are added.

3. When designing your program, focus on creating a flexible and adaptable structure. Distinguish between elements that change and those that remain constant, allowing for easier maintenance and future enhancements.


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

Want to hatch new ideas?

Glasp AI allows you to hatch new ideas based on your curated content. Let's curate and create with Glasp AI :)