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Learning C# 2005, 2nd Edition by Brian MacDonald, Jesse Liberty

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Iteration (Looping) Statements

There are many situations in which you will want to do the same thing again and again, perhaps slightly changing a value each time you repeat the action. This is called iteration, or looping . Typically, you’ll iterate (or loop) over a set of items, taking the same action on each item in the collection. This is the programming equivalent of an assembly line. On an assembly line, you might take a hundred car bodies and put a windshield on each one as it comes by. In an iterative program, you might work your way through a collection of text boxes on a form, retrieving the value from each in turn and using those values to update a database.

C# provides an extensive suite of iteration statements, including for and while, and also do...while and foreach loops. You can also create a loop by using the goto statement. The remainder of this chapter considers the use of goto, for, while, and do...while. However, we’ll postpone coverage of foreach until Chapter 10.

Creating Loops with goto

The goto statement was used earlier in this chapter as an unconditional branch in a switch statement. The more common use of goto, however, is to create a loop. In fact, the goto statement is the seed from which all other looping statements have been germinated. Unfortunately, it is a semolina seed, producer of "spaghetti code" (see the following sidebar) and endless confusion.

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