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Heh - I must've looked at the C code a hundred times over the years, and never noticed the unreached
... though, as I write this, I'm suddenly struck with a contradictory sense of "deja vu".
That unreached code *is* confusing and/or annoying, and it would be nice to make that piece of xsubbp-generated code reachable (as you suggest) - which means amending C.pm in a way that makes me feel a bit uneasy.
Your 'do nothing' was probably the right call
Maybe ... I *have* been right before, y'know !! ... by accident, of course ( ... which would also be the case in this instance :-)
I'll chew this over for a while, as time permits. I've already checked that ikegami's suggested changes re the "no-op" and the "PUTBACK" insertions don't break the test suite. (However, they still leave us with that unreached "return" ... not that he suggested they would do otherwise.)
Thanks BrowserUk, ikegami.