6.19. The Empty Statement
Executing the empty statement obviously has no effect and performs no action. You might think there would be little reason to ever use such a statement, but the empty statement is occasionally useful when you want to create a loop that has an empty body. For example:
// Initialize an array a for(i=0; i < a.length; a[i++] = 0) ;
Note that the accidental inclusion of a semicolon after the right parenthesis of a for loop, while loop, or if statement can cause frustrating bugs that are difficult to detect. For example, the following code probably does not do what the author intended:
if ((a == 0) || (b == 0)); // Oops! This line does nothing... o = null; // and this line is always executed.
When you intentionally use the empty statement, it is a good idea to comment your code in a way that makes it clear that you are doing it on purpose. For example:
for(i=0; i < a.length; a[i++] = 0) /* Empty */ ;
Copyright © 2003 O'Reilly & Associates. All rights reserved.