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1014 - Tell me about the goto?

by - Joseph Ganci

I just recently used a large number of GoTos in a piece. Would I do it differently next time? sure. I have received wonderful examples from Listites and I just bought Joe's book "101 ways to avoid Goto" ;-) But in truth it isn't evil, it seems to work very very well as long as it is well contained. I know Joe, I know, Keep reading...

"Without Goto, how would we ever find Hell"

I find that as I get older and wiser, I perceive fewer black and white issues and a lot more grays. Is GoTo evil? Define the nature of evil. No, I don't perceive GoTo as evil, but I have seen so many examples of bad coding using GoTo that when I see a lot of GoTos in someone else's piece, it's almost a foregone conclusion for me that the code will have been done by a novice without a complete understanding of Authorware and its many strengths and that that code will be difficult to update. It's not evil, but to ignore Authorware's beautiful navigation structures in favor of it is like passing on the chicken marsala (or take your pick of your favorite dish, vegetarian or otherwise) for a meal of slugs. They may both keep you alive, but which is the better meal?

If I see GoTos in someone's code, I take it as an opportunity to teach (if the person wants it). I don't condemn the person to never work for me. That happens only if they refuse to learn and better their skills.

When itís asked, "Without Goto, how would we ever find Hell," why would I ever want to find Hell?

Look, when Macromedia sees fit to allow GoTo in the examples found in their web site TechNotes (see #14183, "Playing QTVR movies in Authorware 5.1"), who am I to argue? I won't use them in my code, but that's my choice. Do what you wish. It would be stupid to start a new political party or religion around this issue. Besides, the more people that use unrestrained GoTos and create unmaintainable code, the more my services become attractive to those who previously were going for the cheapie solution.

Live and let live. May you find everlasting peace in the use of GoTo. ;-)

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