Line numbers and Labels

Line numbers are Integers in the range 1 to 65535, which serve to identify program lines. PowerBASIC takes a relaxed stance toward line numbers. They can be freely interspersed with labels, and used in some parts of a program and not others. In fact, they do not even need to follow in numeric sequence. No two lines can have the same number, and no line can have both a label and a number. Line numbers are essentially labels.

While line numbers and labels serve the same purpose, their usage is slightly different. Line numbers are just a concession to compatibility with Interpretive BASIC. Line numbering can lead to bad programming style. Since the numbers themselves can be in any order, they give a false sense of structure to a program. We recommend that you avoid line numbers, and use labels instead.

Using labels instead of numbers allows you to make the flow of your program much more readable. For example:

GOSUB BuildQuarks

tells you much more than

GOSUB 1723

Each label must appear on a line by itself (though a comment may follow) and it serves to identify the statement immediately following it. Labels must begin with a letter and contain any number of letters, digits, and an underscore. Case is insignificant - THISLABEL, thislabel, and ThisLabel are all the same. A colon must follow a label, however, and statements that refer to the label must not include the colon.

MSGBOX "Now Sorting Invoices"

GOSUB SortInvoices

MSGBOX "All Done!"



SortInvoices: ' This is a legal label

{sorting code goes here}


The following is illegal, however:

ExitPoint: a = a + 1 ' a label must be on a line by itself

Finally, it should be noted that symbol names must be unique: a label may not share the name of any other symbol (Sub name, Function name, Method name, Property name, user-defined type or union definition, variable name, etc), and they are local to the Sub, Function, Method, or Property in which they appear.


See Also

Long lines

Statement separation

Structured Programming