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Chapter 13 Writing Your Own Functions

Good software engineering practice generally includes breaking problems down into functionally distinct subproblems. This leads to software solutions with many functions, each of which solves a subproblem. This “divide and conquer” approach has some distinct advantages:

  • It is easier to solve a small subproblem.

  • Previous solutions to subproblems are often reusable.

  • Several people can be working on different parts of the overall problems simultaneously.

The main disadvantage of breaking a problem down like this is coordinating the many partial solutions so that they work together correctly to provide a correct overall solution. In software, this translates to making sure that the interface between a calling function and a called function works correctly. In order to ensure correct operation of the interface, it must be specified in a very explicit way.

In Section 10.1 you learned how to pass arguments to a function and call it. In this chapter you will learn how to use these arguments inside the called function. You will also learn how to pass more arguments to a function than can be done with the four registers specified in Table 10.1.1.