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C Style: Standards and Guidelines (contents)

CHAPTER 6 : Layout

PART 3 : LAYOUT

CHAPTER 6 : Code Layout
6.1 Basic principles of code layout
6.2 Use of Spaces
6.3 Use of blank lines
6.4 Use vertical alignment
6.5 Indentation level
6.6 Line wrapping
6.7 Braces
6.8 Use of parentheses
6.9 Nested single statement
6.10 Empty statements
6.11 'else..if'
6.12 'switch' statements
6.13 'do..while'
6.14 Labels
6.15 Data declarations
6.16 Function declaration
6.17 Preprocessor commands
6.18 Summary

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6.10  Empty statements

Empty statements naturally occur after control statements where the entire operation is contained within the control statement. This is, in effect, a special case of the single statement as described above, and similar rules may be used.

Putting the semicolon at the end of the line can be confusing, even though the next line is not indented. The careful reader will be alerted by this, and will want to check that this is what was intended:

 

for ( i = 0; i < ARRAY_MAX; NewArray[i++] = 0 );
SetupArray( NewArray );

-------------------------------------------------

A clearer alternative is to put the semicolon by itself on the next line, either below the for or indented, where the intent is explicit, saying "Do nothing". For  additional confirmation, a comment may be added:

 

for ( i = 0; i < ARRAY_MAX; NewArray[i++] = 0 )
    ; /* do nothing */

 

Another alternative is to use an empty set of braces. This is sticking to the simple 'braces with everything' rule, is not likely to be missed, and eases later line insertion. This is at the cost of additional brace-only lines (although, in practice, these are not likely to happen too often).

 

for ( i = 0; i < ARRAY_MAX; NewArray[i++] = 0 )
{
}

 

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