ReSharper Invert if statement to reduce nesting

.Net技术 码拜 6年前 (2014-12-30) 2609次浏览 0个评论

When I ran ReSharper on my code, for example:

    if (some condition)
    {
        Some code...            
    }

ReSharper gave me the above warning (Invert “if” statement to reduce nesting), and suggested the following correction:

   if (!some condition) return;
   Some code...

I would like to understand why that’s better. I always thought that using “return” in the middle of a method problematic, somewhat like “goto”.

” Invert if statement to reduce nesting “

Answer 1 :

A return in the middle of the method is not necessarily bad. It might be better to return immediately if it makes the intent of the code clearer. For example:

double getPayAmount() {
    double result;
    if (_isDead) result = deadAmount();
    else {
        if (_isSeparated) result = separatedAmount();
        else {
            if (_isRetired) result = retiredAmount();
            else result = normalPayAmount();
        };
    }
     return result;
};

In this case, if _isDead is true, we can immediately get out of the method. It might be better to structure it this way instead:

double getPayAmount() {
    if (_isDead) return deadAmount();
    if (_isSeparated) return separatedAmount();
    if (_isRetired) return retiredAmount();
    return normalPayAmount();
};   

This specific refactoring is called: Replace Nested Conditional with Guard Clauses.

Answer 2:

It is not only aesthetic, but it also reduces the maximum nesting level inside the method. This is generally regarded as a plus because it makes methods easier to understand (and indeed, many static analysistools provide a measure of this as one of the indicators of code quality).

On the other hand, it also makes your method have multiple exit points, something that another group of people believes is a no-no.

Personally, I agree with ReSharper and the first group (in a language that has exceptions I find it silly to discuss “multiple exit points”; almost anything can throw, so there are numerous potential exit points in all methods).

Regarding performance: both versions should be equivalent (if not at the IL level, then certainly after the jitter is through with the code) in every language. Theoretically this depends on the compiler, but practically any widely used compiler of today is capable of handling much more advanced cases of code optimization than this.

Answer 3:

This is a bit of a religious argument, but I agree with ReSharper that you should prefer less nesting. I believe that this outweighs the negatives of having multiple return paths from a function.

The key reason for having less nesting is to improve code readability and maintainability. Remember that many other developers will need to read your code in the future, and code with less indentation is generally much easier to read.

Preconditions are a great example of where it is okay to return early at the start of the function. Why should the readability of the rest of the function be affected by the presence of a precondition check?

As for the negatives about returning multiple times from a method – debuggers are pretty powerful now, and it’s very easy to find out exactly where and when a particular function is returning.

Having multiple returns in a function is not going to affect the maintainance programmer’s job.

Poor code readability will.


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