The Python programming language
|Python Data Types|
A function is a piece of code that accomplishes a specific task. It usually takes in argument(s) as input, does some processing, and returns a result. Once a function is written, it can be called over and over again.
Functions take advantage of abstraction: we don't care how the function carries out its task; we just care that it gives us a correct result.
In addition, functions allow us to reuse code instead of rewriting it to work with different values.
A pure function produces no effects other than returning a value. Its return value depends only on the inputs. Given the same arguments, it always returns the same value.
addalways returns the sum of the arguments and has no side effects.
def square(x): return x * x
defstatement is used to create the function with intrinsic name square and bind it to the name
squarein the current environment.
- Following the intrinsic name is a list of formal parameters within the parentheses, the names that we will give the arguments to the function in a function call. In this case, we only have one formal parameter
- Finally, we denote the expression whose value we output as the value of the function call using the
returnstatement. In this example, the value of a function call to
squarewill be the value of
x * xevaluated in tho local frame created by that function call.
- If a return statement is not present, a function will automatically output
A non-pure function or impure function produces a side effect (e.g., mutation, printing to screen). Its return value may depend on external state; when called multiple times with the same arguments, it may return different values.
Functions that modify a variable in another frame
get_a() function modifies the variable
a in the global frame:
a = 0 def get_a(): global a a += 1 return a - 1
tick function modifies the variable
n in the
def countdown(n): def tick(): nonlocal n n -= 1 return n return tick
Functions that mutate an object in another frame
add_square function mutates
lst in the global frame:
lst =  def append_square(n): lst.append(n*n)
randint returns a random number in the provided range, so the same function call may return different values. Example:
>>> from random import randint >>> randint(0, 10) 0 >>> randint(0, 10) 6 >>> randint(0, 10) 7 >>> randint(0, 10) 2 >>> randint(0, 10) 10
- Main article: Higher-order function
A higher-order function is a function that takes in functions as arguments and/or returns functions as output.