Fuctions of a Computer

By: Jesse Miller

It is a good idea to break up a big job into a number of smaller sub-jobs. Divide and conquer, namely, breaking up a complicated problem into smaller parts and solving each separately is a well known problem solving method.

Functions are subprograms which perform well defined tasks. They may be developed separately and tested. You may then name each subprogram and specify the method of sending the data to each of them and getting processed results from them. Sub programs may be linked together to do a given task.

A program written as a sequence with each of it carrying out a specified task is easy to understand. An understandable program can be modified easily. It is easy to test small compact functions. They are commonly used and may be generalized, tested thoroughly and kept in a library for future use.

A large number of efficient well tested programs for common problems in string manipulation and numerical computation are available as libraries usable by programmers. International Mathematical and Statistical library and Numerical Algorithm Group are well known libraries.

You can break up a program into many functions. Main () can use all those properties which define it to carry out the required processing. The rules which are to be followed are mostly same as those used for identifier. If it is declared to be type int then it says that the result which will be computed and returned will be an integer. The variable name inside the parentheses is known as a formal argument or formal parameter.

This argument is used by it as an input for processing. The type of this variable name should be specified. Semicolon should not be used after the declaration. It`s definition is enclosed within the braces { } which represents the body. Declaration of the variables and their types are used to define your programming code. These variables are local they have no meaning outside the body. Same names can be used without any conflict.

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This is essential as other programmers use them to define and write programs independently. Reusability of the code is greatly improved. Memory space can be allocated according to the type and requirement specified. A program can be hidden from the end user. You can also define a value later by use of this property. Any number of formal arguments can be defined. Prototype must be terminated by semicolon.

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