<programming> One of the instructions, statements or groups of statements in a programming language which determines the sequence of execution of other instructions or statements (the control flow).
In assembly language this typically consists of jumps and conditional jumps along with procedure call and return though some architectures include other constructs such as an instruction which skips the following instruction depending on some condition (PDP?), various kinds of loop instructions (later Motorola 680x0) or conditional execution of all instructions (Advanced RISC Machine).
Basic control structures (whatever their names in particular languages) include "if CONDITION then EXPRESSION else EXPRESSION", the switch statement, "while CONDITION do EXPRESSION", "gosub", the suspect "goto" and the much-feared "come from". Other constructs handle errors and exceptions such as traps and interrupts.
Last updated: 1997-09-14
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Nearby terms: Control Program for Microcomputers « control-Q « control-S « control structure » control tty » control unit » conventional memory