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Introduction to Functions

CS-2301, System Programming for Non-Majors

(Slides include materials from The C Programming Language, 2nd edition, by Kernighan and Ritchie and from C: How to Program, 5th and 6th editions, by Deitel and Deitel)

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Introduction to Functions

Definition Function
A fragment of code that accepts zero or more argument values, produces a result value, and has zero or more side effects. A method of encapsulating a subset of a program or a system
To hide details To be invoked from multiple places To share with others
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Functions a big Topic

Examples Function definition Function prototypes & Header files Pre- and post-conditions Scope and storage class Implementation of functions Recursive functions
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Common Functions
#include <math.h>
sin(x) // radians cos(x) // radians tan(x) // radians atan(x) atan2(y,x) exp(x) // ex log(x) // loge x log10(x) // log10 x sqrt(x) // x 0 pow(x, y) // xy ...

#include <stdio.h>
printf() fprintf() scanf() sscanf() ... strcpy() strcat() strcmp() strlen() ...
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#include <string.h>

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Introduction to Functions

Common Functions (continued)

In Kernighan & Ritchie
<assert.h> <stdarg.h> <time.h> <limits.h> <float.h> // for diagnostics, loop invariants, etc. // for parsing arguments // time of day and elapsed time // implementation dependent numbers // implementation dependent numbers.

<setjmp.h> // beyond scope of this course <signal.h> // beyond scope of this course
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Common Functions (continued)

<pthread.h> <socket.h> ... // concurrent execution // network communications // many, many other facilities

Fundamental Rule: if there is a chance that someone else had same problem as you, there is probably a package of functions to solve it!
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Functions in C
resultType functionName(type1 param1, type2 param2, ) { body }

Warning if not!

If no parameters, use void between ()

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Functions in C
resultType functionName(type1 param1, type2 param2, ) { body } // functionName

Warning if not!

If no parameters, use void between ()

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Using Functions
Let int f(double x, int a) be (the beginning of) a declaration of a function. Then f(expr1, expr2) can be used in any expression where a value of type int can be used e.g.,
N = f(pi*pow(r,2), b+c) + d;

CS-2301, B-Term 2009

Introduction to Functions

Using Functions (continued)

This is a parameter

Let int f(double x, int a) be (the beginning of) a declaration of a function. Then f(expr1, expr2) can be used in any expression where a value of type int can be used e.g.,
N = f(pi*pow(r,2), b+c) + d; This is also an This is an argument argument
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Definitions
Parameter: a declaration of an identifier within the '()' of a function declaration
Used within the body of the function as a variable of that function Initialized to the value of the corresponding argument.

Argument: an expression passed when a function is called; becomes the initial value of the corresponding parameter
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Using Functions (continued)

Let int f(double x, int a) be (the beginning of) a declaration of a function. Then f(expr1, expr2) can be used in any expression where a value of type int can be used e.g.,
N = f(pi*pow(r,2), b+c) + d;

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Using Functions (continued)

Let int f(double x, int a) be (the beginning of) a declaration of a function. Then f(expr1, expr2) can be used in any expression where a value of type int can be used e.g.,
N = f(pi*pow(r,2), b+c) + d;

Function f is executed and Sum is assigned to N returns a value of type int

CS-2301, B-Term 2009 Introduction to Functions

Result of f is added to d
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Questions?

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Function Definition
Every function definition has the form
return-type function-name (parameter declarations) { definitions and statements }
See top of page 70 in Kernighan & Ritchie

For practical purposes, code between {} (inclusive) is a compound statement

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Note
Functions in C do not allow other functions to be declared within them
Like C++, Java Unlike Algol, Pascal

All functions defined at top level of C programs

(Usually) visible to linker Can be linked by any other program that knows the function prototype
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Examples
double sin(double radians) { } // sin

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Note on printf, etc.

int printf(char *s, ...) { body } // printf

In this function header, is not a professors place-holder

(as often used in these slides)

but an actual sequence of three dots (no spaces

between) Meaning: the number and types of arguments is indeterminate Use <stdarg.h> to extract the arguments
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Questions?

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Function Prototypes
There are many, many situations in which a function must be used separate from where it is defined
before its definition in the same C program In one or more completely separate C programs

This is actually the normal case! Therefore, we need some way to declare a function separate from defining its body.
Called a Function Prototype
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Function Prototypes

(continued)

Definition: a Function Prototype in C is a language construct of the form: return-type function-name (parameter declarations) ;

I.e., exactly like a function definition, except with a ';' instead of a body in curly brackets

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Purposes of Function Prototype

So compiler knows how to compile calls to that function, i.e.,
number and types of arguments type of result

As part of a contract between developer and programmer who uses the function As part of hiding details of how it works and exposing what it does. A function serves as a black box.
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In applications with multiple C programs, function prototypes are typically provided in header files
I.e., the .h files that programmers include in their code

Grouped by related functions and features

To make it easier for developers to understand To make it easier for team development To make a package that can be used by someone else
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#include
#include <foo.h>
Search the systems directories in order for a file of the name foo.h Directories can be added with -I switch to gcc command
E.g., gcc I myProject/include foo.c Precedes system directories in search order

#include "foo.h"
Search the directory where the source program is found first, before -I and system directories
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Typical C Programming Style

A lot of small C programs, rather than a few large ones
Each .c file contains closely related functions Usually a small number of functions

Header files to tie them together

Makefiles to build or rebuild them in an

organized way
Later in the term
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Definition Stub
A stub is a dummy implementation of a function with an empty body A placeholder while building (other parts of) a program
So that it compiles correctly

Fill in one-stub at a time

Compile and test if possible
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Questions?

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Contract between Developer and User of a Function 1. Function Prototype 2. The pre- and post-conditions
I.e., assertions about what is true before the function is called and what is true after it returns. A logical way of explaining what the function does
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Definitions
Pre-condition:a characterization or logical statement about
the values of the parameters, and values of relevant variables outside the function

prior to calling the function Post-condition:a logical statement or characterization about

the result of the function in relation to the values of the parameters and pre-conditions, and changes to values of variables outside the function

after the function returns

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Example 1
double sin (double angle); Pre: angle is expressed in radians Post: result is the familiar sine of angle Note: this function does not use or change any other variables

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Example 2
int printf (string, arg1, arg2, ) Pre: string terminated with '\0' and containing conversion specifiers Pre: a buffer maintained by the file system contains zero or more unprinted characters from previous calls. Post: args are substituted for conversion codes in copy of string; resulting string is added to buffer Post: if '\n' is anywhere in buffer, line is printed up to '\n'; printed characters are cleared from buffer Post: result is number of characters added to buffer by
printf
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Example 3
float total = 0; int count = 0; int GetNewItem(void) { float input; int rc; printf("Enter next item:- "); if ((rc = scanf("%f", &input)) != EOF && (rc > 0)) { total += input; count++; }; // if return rc; } // GetNewItem
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Example 3
float total = 0; int count = 0; Pre: total is sum of all previous inputs, or zero if none Pre: count is number of previous inputs, or zero if none

int GetItem(void) { float input; Post: if valid input is received int rc; total = totalprev + input, ...; count = countprev + 1 if ((rc = scanf(%f, &input)) != EOF && (rc > 0)) { total += input; count++; }; // if return rc; } // GetItem
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Important
Pre- and post-conditions are analogous to loop invariants
I.e., they describe something about the data before and after a function is called and the relationship that the function preserves

Often are used together with loop invariants

to show that loop invariant is preserved from one iteration to the next
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Questions?

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