As you write larger formulas, it becomes desirable to avoid code duplication and to have a way to better structure the formula code. To do this, you can group code in functions that you can call just like the built-in functions.

Here is a complete Mandelbrot formula that shows how to declare and use a function that calculates one iteration of the Mandelbrot set:

  MandelbrotWithFunction {  init:    complex func calculateMandelbrot(const complex x)      return sqr(x) + #pixel    endfunc      z = 0  loop:    z = calculateMandelbrot(z)  bailout:    |z| < 4  }    
  • Functions start with the func keyword and end with the endfunc keyword. (These keywords are also used for function blocks.)
  • The return type of the function is specified before the func keyword. For a function with no return value, leave out the type before the func keyword.
  • Arguments to the function are declared after the name of the function between parentheses. See Function arguments for more information.
  • A function needs to return its value with the return keyword. The return keyword causes an immediate exit of the function with the specified return value. It is required in functions with a return value. In functions without a return value (also called void functions or procedures in other languages), you can use return to exit the function prematurely, but it is not required. See Function arguments for an example.
  • Functions can declare local variables, but they can also access the variables from the formula in which they are declared.
  • Functions declared in a formula can only be accessed by the formula itself. If you want to access a function from another formula, declare it as a static class method instead.
  • Function declarations can occur anywhere in a formula where you can write “normal” formula code. The order in which functions are declared does not matter: it is legal to call a function that is declared later in the formula. A function can also call itself recursively.

Functions declared in a global section can write to global variables, but you cannot call these from outside the global section, unless the entire function is declared as const (in which case it can only read from any variables):

  Test {  global:    float x      float func getXSquared() const      return x * x    endfunc    init:    z = getXSquared()    ...  }     

Next: Function arguments

See Also
Built-in functions