In programming, a repetition within a program. Whenever a process must be repeated, a loop is set up to handle it. A program has a main loop and a series of minor loops, which are nested within the main loop. Learning how to set up loops is what programming technique is all about.|
The following example prints an invoice. The main loop reads the order record and prints the invoice until there are no more orders to read. After printing date and name and addresses, the program prints a variable number of line items. The code that prints the line items is contained in a loop and repeated as many times as required.
Loops are accomplished by various programming structures that have a beginning, body and end. The beginning generally tests the condition that keeps the loop going. The body comprises the repeating statements, and the end is a GOTO that points back to the beginning. In assembly language, the programmer writes the GOTO, as in the following example that counts to 10.
MOVE "0" TO COUNTER
LOOP ADD "1" TO COUNTER
COMPARE COUNTER TO "10"
GOTO LOOP IF UNEQUAL
In high-level languages, the GOTO is generated by the interpreter or compiler; for example, the same routine as above using a WHILE loop.
COUNTER = 0
DO WHILE COUNTER <> 10
COUNTER = COUNTER + 1
For a more detailed look at a loop, look at the end of the C definition. The main event loop of the DOS version of this database is presented.