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1.5 Functions

Another control structure we have already seen is the function. A function is simply a block of Pike code that can be executed with different arguments from different places in the program. A function is declared like this:
modifiers type name(type varname1, type varname2, ...)
The modifiers are optional. See
section 6.8 "Modifiers" for more details about modifiers. The type specifies what kind of data the function returns. For example, the word int would signify that the function returns an integer number. The name is used to identify the function when calling it. The names between the parenthesis are the arguments to the function. They will be defined as local variables inside the function. Each variable will be declared to contain values of the preceding type. The three dots signifies that you can have anything from zero to 256 arguments to a function. The statements between the brackets are the function body. Those statements will be executed whenever the function is called.


int sqr(int x) { return x*x; }
This line defines a function called sqr to take one argument of the type int and also returns an int. The code itself returns the argument multiplied by itself. To call this function from somewhere in the code you could simply put: sqr(17) and that would return the integer value 289.

As the example above shows, return is used to specify the return value of a function. The value after return must be of the type specified before the function name. If the function is specified to return void, nothing at all should be written after return. Note that when a return statement is executed, the function will finish immediately. Any statements following the return will be ignored.

There are many more control structures, they will all be described in a later chapter devoted only to control structures.

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