Goto Statement in Python: What You Need to Know in 2021

Goto Statement in Python: What You Need to Know in 2021

The purpose of this article is to give the readers a greater insight into goto in Python. Read on to know more about goto statement in python.

Introduction

Among the plethora of modern programming languages that exist currently, Python is increasingly popular among a large chunk of users. This popularity is mostly owed to the flexibility that it grants to its users by not strictly adhering to traditional syntaxes that its contemporaries do. Consequently, its user-friendliness has resulted in it being a central part of multiple software industries across the globe today. From amateurs to weathered professionals, Python has now become the language of choice for most programmers out there. 

Long-time Python users swear by the diverse range of statements and the subsequently enhanced functionality that it accords them. However, since the number of conventionally used statements is so vast, several equally handy commands go unnoticed as well. One such example is the goto statement in Python. The purpose of this article is to give the readers a greater insight into goto in Python.

Python’s goto statement is an essential piece of code or syntax that enables the user to skip a certain number of statements or a block of code in the program body. In technical terms, it carries out an unconditional jump from the goto statement to the point that is designated as the destination within the context of the same function that is being compiled.

The goto function’s syntax is relatively straightforward for it couples the keyword “goto” with a template label name that can be customized as per the user’s requirement. As long as the text does not consist of the keyword “go”, it can be placed anywhere in the program’s body. It does not make a difference if someone chooses to place the label above the go statement, or for that matter, below it. 

The goto statement as such is widely used by a large chunk of users who program in Python. However, for all its probability, this statement’s use is usually discouraged when auditing purposes are concerned. This is primarily because the presence of a goto statement in an auditing context makes it very difficult for someone to trace the program’s flow.

Consequently, if there ever does arise a situation where a programmer is required to alter any content of the program at any point in time, determining the exact location becomes an uphill task. As the use of the goto statement entails the skipping of a select portion or block of the function, the user finds it difficult to trace the program flow and narrow in on the exact location at which the modification is to be carried out. 

The goto statement has a fun nugget of history attached to it. It is widely believed that when the goto statement was first released, on 1st April 2004, it was supposed to be used as a joke. However, upon realizing the utility of the syntax at hand, programmers started taking the statement seriously. Thus goto gradually grew to enjoy the widespread endorsement that it continues to have to date. 

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