Should I avoid using Java Label Statements?

Question :

Should I avoid using Java Label Statements?,

Answer :

Today I had a coworker suggest I refactor my code to use a label statement to control flow through 2 nested for loops I had created. I’ve never used them before because personally I think they decrease the readability of a program. I am willing to change my mind about using them if the argument is solid enough however. What are people’s opinions on label statements?

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Many algorithms are expressed more easily if you can jump across two loops (or a loop containing a switch statement). Don’t feel bad about it. On the other hand, it may indicate an overly complex solution. So stand back and look at the problem.

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Some people prefer a “single entry, single exit” approach to all loops. That is to say avoiding break (and continue) and early return for loops altogether. This may result in some duplicate code.

What I would strongly avoid doing is introducing auxilary variables. Hiding control-flow within state adds to confusion.

Splitting labeled loops into two methods may well be difficult. Exceptions are probably too heavyweight. Try a single entry, single exit approach.

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Disclaimer :

The answers provided above are only to be used to guide the learning process. The questions above are open-ended questions, meaning that many answers are not fixed as above. I hope this article can be useful, Thank you