How does it know what values to use for each parameter?


#1

Question

How does it know what values to use for each parameter?

Answer

Before you call the function, the program has no way of knowing what the values will be, unless you set a default by typing parameter_name=0, for example. That would set the default value of parameter parameter_name to 0.
Otherwise it simply assigns parameter values with the arguments provided when the function is called. With power(), the function defined and used in this exercise, we provide it two arguments: a base and an exponent, in that order. If we did power(10, 2), then 10 would be assigned to base, and 2 assigned to exponent to be used throughout the function with those values.


FAQ: Learn Python: Functions - Parameters and Arguments
#2

The values will be read in to the function in the order they are written into the call arguments.

>>> def hotel_cost(days):
    return days * 140

>>> def car_rental_cost(days):
    return 40 * days

>>> def plane_ride_cost(city):
    if city == 'Tampa': return 222

    
>>> def trip_cost(city, days):
    return hotel_cost(days) + car_rental_cost(days) + plane_ride_cost(city)

>>> 

What could possibly go wrong with this function? Answer, if the arguments are not given in the correct order things can quickly go awry.

>>> print (trip_cost(7, 'Tampa'))
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#24>", line 1, in <module>
    print (trip_cost(7, 'Tampa'))
  File "<pyshell#23>", line 2, in trip_cost
    return hotel_cost(days) + car_rental_cost(days) + plane_ride_cost(city)
TypeError: Can't convert 'NoneType' object to str implicitly
>>> 

We can see how important it is to pay close attention to order of arguments.


#3

Why didn’t we use any return lines in this particular exercise?


#4

same question here.
in previous exercises it was stressed and presented as a matter of fact that each function has to return something to follow the control flow construct.
anyone please?


#5

if no return keyword is present, None is implicitly returned

In my personal experience, while learning programming, you learn a concept (like return, or functions) and the true value becomes more apparent once you start building actual programs.

being able to pass data around between functions is so useful, but given you are still learning programming concepts at the moment, a concept learned might not be used in every exercise (like return here, because this exercise doesn’t focus on that)

however, somewhere should have been mentioned that None is implicitly returned


#6

We can think of it like that, though it is misleading. No return means no return, not None.

If we poll a return value,

print (foo())

assuming foo() has no return statement, we print None because that is how Python fills in the gap. There is nothing to print so it reaches into its bag of defined objects and retrieves the one associated with ‘nothing’ => None. JavaScript does the same thing, only with undefined, and Ruby does it with, nil.

There is no return value. Nothing is returned, implicitly or otherwise. It is only the lack of anything that springs Python into action to attempt to print something. If we do this in the interactive shell, and let the console handle the output without using print(), we get…

>>> foo()
>>> 

#7

true, but explaining that is even more complicated.