[TUHS] The UNIX Command Language (1976)

scj at yaccman.com scj at yaccman.com
Sun Dec 13 05:50:50 AEST 2020

When I wrote yacc, my first thought was to use goto's when implementing 
the finite state machine that is the heart of the parser.  That's how 
FSM's work! I got the code written, but the C compiler complained and 
wouldn't compile.  It turned out that, while goto was implemented in C, 
you could only have 10 of them!  So I had to use a switch statement.

I also recently came upon one of my first C programs -- I wrote a "go 
fish" game for my son as a practice in using the language.  Reading the 
code was most instructive:
    1.  I had used FOUR gotos!   I can't remember the last time I wrote a 
    2.  The program had a bug -- char being used as an int.  Gave an 
advantage to the player.
    3.  The game was surprisingly hard to beat.  I had to add a "dumb me 
down" flag because my kids never won.

I think the game was distributed in some of the early releases.  At one 
point, at a conference, the speaker accused the game of cheating!  The 
game was just very good at remembering that if the player had asked it 
for a 6, and then it drew a 6 later, it would ask the player for 6 

On 2020-12-01 08:39, arnold at skeeve.com wrote:
>> On Tue, Dec 1, 2020 at 8:39 AM <arnold at skeeve.com> wrote:
>> > It was recognized that goto was not necessary if one had proper control
>> > structures in a language (if/else, while), and that code with no (or
>> > minimal) gotos was easier to read and understand.

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