C++ Refactoring Techniques Goto Cleanup


In C++ code bases which used to be C, one can find the pattern goto cleanup. As the goto command makes the workflow of a function harder to understand, this is often avoided. Often, it can be replaced by return statements, loops, functions. Though, with the goto cleanup one needs to get rid of cleanup logic.

short calculate(VectorStr **data) {
    short result = FALSE;
    VectorStr *vec = NULL;
    if (!data)
       goto cleanup;  //< Could become return false

    // ... Calculation which 'new's VectorStr

    result = TRUE;
    delete [] vec;
    return result;

In C++ one could use RAII to fix this issue:

struct VectorRAII final {
    VectorStr *data{nullptr};
    VectorRAII() = default;
    ~VectorRAII() {
        delete [] data;
    VectorRAII(const VectorRAII &) = delete;

short calculate(VectorStr **data) {
    VectorRAII vec{};
    if (!data)
       return FALSE;  //< Could become return false

    // ... Calculation which 'new's VectorStr and stores it in vec.data

    return TRUE;

From this point on, one could continue refactoring the actual code. For example by replacing the VectorRAII by std::unique_ptr or std::vector.