Chapter 2. Functions and Modules

Étude 2-1: Writing a Function

Write a module with a function that takes the length and width of a rectangle and returns (yields) its area. Name the module Geom, and name the function area. Save the module in a file named geom.ex. The function has arity 2, because it needs two pieces of information to make the calculation. In Elixir-speak: write function area/2.

Here is some sample output.

iex(1)> c("geom.ex")
[Geom]
iex(2)> Geom.area(3,4)
12
iex(3)> Geom.area(12, 7)
84

See a suggested solution in Appendix A.

Étude 2-2: Writing a Function with Default Values

Modify the function you wrote in Étude 2-2 so that the default variables for the length and width are 1. Here is some sample output.

iex(1)> c("geom.ex")
[Geom]
iex(2)> Geom.area(7, 5)
35
iex(3)> Geom.area(7)
7
iex(4)> Geom.area()
1

Étude 2-3: Documenting a Module

Document the Geom module and area function that you wrote in Étude 2-2. See a suggested solution in Appendix A.

Étude 2-4: Discovery Étude

What happens if you have default values that aren’t the last ones in the function definition? Try it and find out. Enter this code into a file named test.ex

defmodule Test do
  def sum( a \\ 3, b, c \\ 7) do
    a + b + c
  end
end

See what happens when you try the following in iex (remember to compile the file first).

Test.sum(11, 22, 33)
Test.sum(11, 22)
Test.sum(11)