Using my last example, Stuart Ballard pointed out that using inline returns is another way to avoid the uninitialized variable mistake:
if (hwndParent != NULL)
else if (fBar)
This is true, although whether to use inline returns vs. the structured programming technique of one entry point and one exit point is a separate consideration. 🙂
Inline returns (and even exceptions) are usually fine as long as you are using a language with garbage collection, such as C# or Java, or you religiously adhere to the RAII technique (using smart pointers and such). However, in many programming environments where you’re still manually managing resources: memory, reference counting COM objects, critical sections, registry and file handles, etc., inline returns can be dangerous. We use RAII quite a bit in our code, but not enough yet to reliably switch to the model of inline returns, so I didn’t even think of mentioning that in my original post.
(There’s also something to be said for being able to rewind the instruction pointer and step through code again while debugging, something that’s made easy with the technique of one entry point and one exit point.)