I have this fragment of code from Ethernaut (link):

pragma solidity ^0.4.18;
 function() public {
    if(delegate.delegatecall(msg.data)) {

What's means this; ?

  • Similar question here. Still with no answer – Masoud jt Jun 27 '20 at 3:11
  • 1
    I think it has no meaning, but I might be wrong. I have seen people use it to avoid the no-empty-blocks solium warning: ethlint.readthedocs.io/en/latest/…. – Markus - soliditydeveloper.com Jun 27 '20 at 3:31
  • @Markus-soliditydeveloper.com If the block is necessary, I can understand that reason, but it doesn't seem like the if is needed for this example. I believe it's just meant to demonstrate how a delegatecall to another contract is a security risk. – Chan-Ho Suh Jun 27 '20 at 3:55
  • 1
    It's usually in order to prevent compiler warning about a view function which can be restricted to pure. – goodvibration Jun 27 '20 at 7:01

It is typically in order to workaround compiler warning about a view function which can be restricted to pure, for example:

uint256[4] public arr;

constructor() public {
    arr[0] = 11;
    arr[1] = 22;
    arr[2] = 33;
    arr[3] = 44;

function func(uint256 x) public view returns (uint256) {
    if (x < arr.length)
        return handle(x, viewFunc);
    return handle(x, pureFunc);

function handle(uint256 x, function (uint256) view returns (uint256) func) internal view returns (uint256) {
    return func(x);

function viewFunc(uint256 x) internal view returns (uint256) {
    return arr[x];

function pureFunc(uint256 x) internal view returns (uint256) {
    return x * 2;

As you can see, function handle takes two input arguments:

  1. uint256 x
  2. function (uint256) view returns (uint256) func, which is a pointer to a view function

Now, suppose you wanted to call function handle and pass it a pure function. You could do this by declaring that pure function as view, but the compiler would issue a warning on that. So in order to revoke that warning, you simply add this; in the implementation of the pure function.

In your specific example, however, since the function is not even view, I am not so sure about the reason for adding this; in the implementation of this function. It obviously has no runtime impact.

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