Adventures in Machine Learning

Replacing Goto Statements with Structured Programming Techniques in Python

Programming languages are complex, and the use of different statements and keywords is one of the ways to make them function. In this article, we will explore the concept of goto statements, comefrom labels, and alternatives to goto statements in Python.

1)to Goto Statement

Goto statements are a popular programming resource that allows programmers to skip code and move over code blocks. The syntax for goto statements in the C/C++ language is:

goto label;

label: statement;

The label can be at any point in the code, and the compiler generates an instruction to go to it from wherever the goto label instruction is encountered. Here’s an example of how it works in C++:


int i = 0;


if (i < 10) {

i += 1;

cout << i << endl;

goto loop;



In this case, as the iteration occurs, the loop continues to execute until the value of i is greater than or equal to 10.

2) Goto, Comefrom and Label Statements in Python

Although goto statements are not present in Python, come from labels, and label statements are retained in some versions of Python. These variants can be viewed as substitutes to goto statements.

Goto with Label Statement in Python 2.x version

In Python 2.x, you could have a goto with label statement. This allows you to create a label for any line in your code that you want to be able to access using a goto command.

Here’s an example:


from goto import goto, label

i = 0

label .loop

if i < 10:

i += 1


goto .loop


In this case, you can see that the goto statement is a variant of the Python directive and can be used as an instruction set to call and process the entire code within the loop block. Comefrom with Label Statement in Python 2.x version

Another variant of goto statements is the comefrom with label in Python 2.x. With comefrom, a set of instructions is executed to return to an earlier block of code after a loop is completed.

Here’s an example:


from comefrom import comefrom, label

label .start

for i in range(10):


if i == 5:

comefrom .start


In this example, the comefrom will take the program back to the beginning of the loop after `i` equals 5. Alternatives of goto Statements in Python 3?

Some alternatives to goto statements include using break/continue statements in a loop or using a different data structure like lists when possible. Additionally, new Python conversions use if/else statements, while loops, and for loops.

Here’s an example:


for i in range(10):

if i % 2 == 0:

continue # skips even numbers



In this example, the continue keyword is used when i is even and the print statement is skipped.


Although goto statements are not present in Python (and many other high-level programming languages), comefrom labels, and label statements provide a similar effect. However, in most cases, alternatives to goto statements are recommended.

It’s essential to learn how these statements work and use them effectively if they’re available in a language you’re working with. In programming, it’s always good to have multiple methods of approaching a problem to stay flexible and efficient.

3) If, Elif and Else Statement in Python

If, Elif, and Else statements are some of the most common ways to add branching to code in Python. In contrast to goto statements, If, Elif, and Else statements are used to execute one piece of code if certain conditions are met and another piece of code if the conditions aren’t met.

Use of If, Elif and Else statement as alternatives to goto statement

If, Elif, and Else statements are alternatives to goto that can be used to accomplish some similar behavior. These statements help us branch to different instructions based on conditions.

In If, Elif, and Else statements, the order of the statements is crucial, and the first condition that is true is executed. Example of If, Elif and Else statement

Suppose you want to write a code block that checks if a variable is less than 10, equal to 10, or greater than 10.

Here is an example using If, Elif, and Else statements:


x = 5

if x < 10:

print(“x is less than 10.”)

elif x == 10:

print(“x is equal to 10.”)


print(“x is greater than 10.”)


In this example, we first check if `x` is less than 10. If the condition is true, the code block under the If statement is executed.

If it’s false, Python evaluates the next condition. If the condition is true, the code block under the Elif statement is executed.

If the second condition is also false, the code block under the Else statement is executed.

4) For Loop Instead of Goto Statement

For loops are loops that use a sequence to define what is being looped over. They’re similar to While loops but are commonly used to loop over ranges or items in a list.

For loops are alternatives to goto statements that provide a more precise way to perform the looping.

Use of For Loop as an alternative to goto statement

A for loop provides a way to iterate through a sequence while executing some block of code during each iteration. This helps us avoid the need to use goto statements in most cases.

For example, if we want to print the numbers from 1 to 5, we can use a for loop as follows:


for i in range(1,6):



This loop will print the numbers 1,2,3,4, and 5. A sequence is created with the `range()` function, and the loop executes once for each value in the sequence.

Example of For Loop

Here’s an example of how a for loop can be used to print the elements in a list:


numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

for number in numbers:



This loop will iterate through each value in the `numbers` list and print it out. In this example, it will print 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

In conclusion, If, Elif, and Else statements provide an efficient and organized way to accomplish branching logic without the use of goto statements. Similarly, For loops provide a way to iterate through a sequence of values without using goto statements.

In most cases, Goto statements are not required or necessary and can be substituted with acceptable alternatives. However, it’s still important to learn the concept of goto statements to understand how they function and their usage in code.

5) While Loop Instead of Goto Statement

A while loop is another looping mechanism in Python that can be used instead of goto statements. Like For loops, While loops enable us to loop through code repeatedly.

However, the key difference between the two is that while loops will continue to execute the loop until a specific condition is met, whereas For loops execute a set number of iterations.

Use of While Loop as an alternative to goto statement

While loops can provide a way to repeatedly execute a set of instructions until a specific condition is met, thus avoiding the use of goto statements. This is because, in some cases, a while loop’s condition can act as a signal to jump to different parts of the code.

Suppose we have a counter that we want to increment until it reaches a specific value. Here is an example of how that can be achieved using a while loop:


counter = 0

while counter < 5:

counter += 1



In this code block, we first initialize a counter variable as 0.

We then create a while loop that will execute as long as the counter is less than 5. If the condition evaluates to `True`, the loop body executes.

Within the loop, the counter value is incremented, and then the updated value is printed out. The loop continues until the value of the counter is equal to 5.

Example of While Loop

Here’s another example of a while loop where the loop executes until a specific condition is met:


x = 1

while x <= 10:

print(x, end=” “)

x += 1


In this example, we create a while loop that prints out the value of `x` starting from 1 and continuing until it reaches 10. Each time through the loop, the value of `x` is incremented by 1.

6) Function Instead of Goto Statement

The use of functions is another alternative to using a goto statement. By definition, a function is a block of code that performs a specific task.

In most cases, it’s used to prevent duplicating code by creating a reusable block of code and then calling it when needed. Functions can be thought of as mini-programs encapsulated inside larger programs, and they provide a structured, simplified approach to programming.

Use of Function as an alternative to goto statement

Functions offer a structured way to reuse code and break code into reusable pieces, effectively replacing the ad hoc function of the goto keyword. It’s essential to note, however, that functions exist independently of other sections of code.

In using functions, you divide your code into smaller, manageable pieces of code that are easier to read, debug and maintain.

Example of Function

Here’s an example of a simple function that takes two numbers as inputs, adds them together, and returns the result:


def add_numbers(x, y):

return x + y


This function first takes two input variables: `x` and `y` and then returns the addition of the two input variables. We can then call this function anywhere in our code, with appropriate arguments, and perform the calculation without having to repeat any code.

For example:


result = add_numbers(2, 3)



In this example, we call the function `add_numbers` while passing two arguments, 2 and 3. The function then calculates their sum and returns the result, which is stored in the `result` variable.

Finally, the result is printed out. In conclusion, while loops and functions can act as alternatives to goto statements.

The while loop provides a way to repeatedly execute a set of instructions until a specific condition is met, whereas functions provide reusable, modular code that can be called multiple times in a program. Mastering these constructs makes it easier to write readable, manageable, and maintainable code.

7) Exclusion of Goto Statement from Python3

Python3 excludes the goto statement due to it having the potential to result in unpredictable runtime behaviors, reduce code readability and maintainability, and lead to untraceable code paths.

Explanation of why Python3 excludes goto statement

In Python, the goto statement was removed beginning from version 3.0 because of its ability to jump to an arbitrary location in the code, creating unpredictable behavior that makes the code difficult to understand and maintain. Additionally, it’s hard to debug code with goto statements, making it difficult to find and fix bugs.

By removing the goto statement, Python programmers are forced to use more structured programming techniques that help ensure better code organization and readability.

Alternative options provided by Python language

Python offers a set of structured programming tools to enable programmers to write structured code that is easily maintainable, debugged, and understood by others. These tools include loops, conditional statements, exception handling, and functions that are easier to read and maintain than goto statements.

Loops, particularly the For and While loops, provide an easy way to iterate over a sequence in Python. Conditionals like If, Elif, and Else are used to branch the program flow depending on certain conditions.

Functions provide a way to break programs down into smaller, more manageable pieces, allowing for easy debugging and reuse. Finally, exception handling can be used to handle error scenarios, further simplifying code and making it more maintainable.

8) Summary

In summary, Python does not include the goto statement in its language anymore, as it can create unpredictable behavior, reduce code readability and maintainability, and lead to untraceable code paths. Instead, Python offers structured programming techniques like loops, conditional statements, functions, and exception handling to simplify code and make it more maintainable.

Knowing these techniques is essential to writing clean, maintainable, and portable Python code. By using structured programming techniques, programmers reduce the risks of errors, and create code that is easier to understand, test, debug, and maintain.

The article explores alternatives to the goto statement in Python programming. Given the problems it can lead to, goto is not included in Python3.

To accomplish similar results, Python provides For and While loops, If, Elif, and Else statements, Functions, and Exception handling as structured programming techniques. These approaches are more maintainable and easily understandable, making them valuable tools for Python programmers.

The importance of structured programming lies in its ability to minimize errors, making code easier to understand, test, debug, and maintain. By using these programming techniques, developers can write cleaner, error-free, and more effective code that is easily accessible to others.

Overall, the article’s takeaway is that while goto statements might be powerful, they are neither necessary nor recommended. It’s essential to understand structured programming techniques and their alternatives to write professional-level code.

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