When writing a language where


are optional, I always put them in. Some people say this takes up space when not required, but I find it useful to help clearly define branches in code.

does not take up much more space than

Adding brackets also makes things more standard as they are still required for multi-line statements in branches. It also helps prevent the following scenario:

I worked on a project where this happened, and it took the team about 45 minutes to track down the problem instead of continuing with development (45 minutes doesn’t sound like a long time until you realize that it’s 45 minutes * 5 developers). In a pristine environment, this probably would be easily noticed and corrected, but most legacy code is far from it, and so I prefer every advantage I can have to make code do what I expect it to.
Some languages won’t even allow something akin to the following:

In truth, most do, but it doesn’t really matter. The brackets force the end scope of the branch, and don’t allow it accidentally affect the next statement in the program. A lot of people forget that

because it’s common to write the code like so:

and in a lot of languages with beginning and ending delimiters, white space is ignored by the compiler.

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