# Octave Programming Tutorial/Writing functions

## SyntaxEdit

In Octave, function definitions use the following syntax:

```function [return value 1, return value 2, ...] = name( [arg1, arg2, ...] )
body
endfunction
```

## ExamplesEdit

The factorial function, which takes exactly one argument and returns one integer, is as follows.

```function result = factorial( n )
if( n == 0 )
result = 1;
return;
else
result = prod( 1:n );
endif
endfunction
```

The following function, maxmin, returns the maximum and minimum value of two integers:

```function [max,min] = maxmin( a, b )
if(a >= b )
max = a;
min = b;
return;
else
max = b;
min = a;
return;
endif
endfunction
```

To call a function with multiple arguments, you specify multiple variables to hold the results. For example, one could write:

```[big,small] = maxmin(7,10);
```

After executing, the variable 'big' would store the value '10' and the variable 'small' would store '7'. If fewer than two variables are used to hold the result then fewer outputs are returned. Writing

```a = maxmin(13,5)
```

would store 13 in the variable 'a', and would discard the value of 5.