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From: James Dennett (jdennett_at_[hidden])
Date: 2001-10-08 20:09:36

deansturtevant_at_[hidden] wrote:

>>>3) VC++ 6.0 gives a bothersome warning if no "return 0"
>>> is at the end of main.
>>Well, that's just a VC++ problem. The code is valid and shouldn't
>>produce a diagnostic, so I'm not going to change it.
>IMHO, the standard is the one with the problem. Why is it that all
>functions that return int must return int except for 'main'?
An odd convenience allowed to main, as it is the only
user-defined function for which the language specifies
a meaningful return value (0, or EXIT_SUCCESS).

> Correct
>me if I am mistaken, but it's because prior to standardization, main
>could return void, and changing existing code to return 0 was
>considered too much of a burden.
You're mistaken. void main has never been legal, even back to
the 1989 C Standard and before.

> I feel proper coding practice is to
>make the return explicit, regardless of whether the standard says
>it's not necessary.
It's certainly legal and consistent to do so, and does stop
retarded compilers from issuing warnings. It also stops
complaints from developers who don't know the rules.
For toy examples I tend to elide the "return 0;" but for
production code I include it, often with a comment to
(a) say why it's there, and that I know it's optional, and
(b) stop developers from removing it, because I know
that other developers would be puzzled by its absence.
Sad but true.

-- James Dennett

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