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Structure and Nesting

Objectives

This section brings together the various looping mechanisms available to the C programmer with the program control constructs we met in the last section.

We also demonstrates a neat trick with random numbers.

It is one of the great discoveries of programming that you can write any program using just simple while loops and if statements. You don't need any other control statements at all. Of course it might be nice to include some other types of control statement to make life easy - for example, you don't need the for loop, but it is good to have! So as long as you understand the if and the while loop in one form or another you can write any program you want to.

If you think that a loop and an if statement are not much to build programs then you are missing an important point. It's not just the statements you have, but the way you can put them together. You can include an if statement within a loop, loops within loops are also OK, as are loops in ifs, and ifs in ifs and so on. This putting one control statement inside another is called nesting and it is really what allows you to make a program as complicated as you like.