|multi-way branch -->|
<computer programming> (Or case statement, multi-way branch) A construct found in most high-level languages for selecting one of several possible blocks of code or branch destinations depending on the value of an expression. An example in C is
The break statements cause execution to continue after the whole switch statemetnt. The lack of a break statement after the first case means that execution will fall through into the second case. Since this is a common programming error you should add a comment if it is intentional.
If none of the explicit cases matches the expression value then the (optional) default case is taken.
A similar construct in some functional languages returns the value of one of several expressions selected according to the value of the first expression. A distant relation to the modern switch statement is Fortran's computed goto.
(01 Mar 1997)
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