A function is a set of statements that are executed together when the function is called. Every function has a name, which is used to call the respective function.
C++ has many built-in functions. In order to use them, we have to import the required library using
Calling a Function
In C++, when we define a function, it is not executed automatically. To execute it, we need to “call” the function by specifying its name followed by a pair of parentheses
Function Declaration & Definition
A C++ function has two parts:
- Function declaration
- Function definition
The declaration includes the function’s name, return type, and any parameters.
The definition is the actual body of the function which executes when a function is called. The body of a function is typically enclosed in curly braces.
In C++, if we declare the type of a function as
void, it does not return a value. These functions are useful for a set of statements that do not require returning a value.
A function that returns a value must have a
return statement. The data type of the return value also must match the method’s declared return type;
On the other hand, a
void function (one that does not return anything) does not require a
Function parameters are placeholders for values passed to the function. They act as variables inside a function.
x is a parameter that holds a value of 10 when it’s called.
In C++, the values passed to a function are known as arguments. They represent the actual input values.
Scope of Code
The scope is the region of code that can access or view a given element:
- Variables defined in global scope are accessible throughout the program.
- Variables defined in a function have local scope and are only accessible inside the function.
Function Declarations in Header file
C++ functions typically have two parts: declaration and definition.
Function declarations are generally stored in a header file (.hpp or .h) and function definitions (body of the function that defines how it is implemented) are written in the .cpp file.
In C++, it is common to store function definitions in a separate .cpp file from the
main() function. This separation results in a more efficient implementation.
Note: If the file containing the
main() function needs to be recompiled, it is not necessary to recompile the files containing the function definitions.
An inline function is a function definition, usually in a header file, qualified by the inline keyword, which advises the compiler to insert the function’s body where the function call is. If a modification is made in an inline function, it would require all files containing a call to that function to be recompiled.
In C++, default arguments can be added to function declarations so that it is possible to call the function without including those arguments. If those arguments are included the default value is overwritten. Function parameters are read from left to right, so default parameters should be placed from right to left.
In C++, function overloading enables functions to handle different types of input and return different types. It allows multiple definitions for the same function name, but all of these definitions must differ in their arguments.
A function template is a C++ tool that allows programmers to add data types as parameters, enabling a function to behave the same with different types of parameters. The use of function templates and template parameters is a great C++ resource to produce cleaner code, as it prevents function duplication.