[Gretl-devel] Default value specification for scalar and integer arguments

Allin Cottrell cottrell at wfu.edu
Fri Jul 3 18:15:17 EDT 2015

On Fri, 3 Jul 2015, Sven Schreiber wrote:

> I want to ask whether the following (which is working!) is 
> actually according to the hansl spec. Consider the session at the 
> end of the message.
> Hansl allows to specify the default value [0] both for 'scalar' 
> and 'int', without requiring minimum or maximum values. But the 
> way I read the paragraph "Function parameters: optional 
> refinements" in the user guide, this would seem to be actually a 
> syntax error. Instead for non-bool types it should be [::0].

Yes, it seems to me that if you just specify "int foo[0]" this 
should mean that foo has a minimum of 0 but no specified max or 
default value; and, as you say, "int foo[::0]" should be required to 
set a default of 0 with no specified min or max.

But in fact "int foo[0]" seems to be taken as specifying a default 
of 0. Presumably this should be fixed; unless perhaps there are lots 
of scripts out there that rely on the undocumented and formally 
wrong behaviour.

> Also (and I feel like having deja-vus again) notice that in the check2() 
> function an integer parameter is specified, but if the caller passes 0.5, 
> there is no type error, instead the argument is converted to its integer 
> component. I do not think this is obvious, is this documented somewhere?

Well, some time ago we tightened the criterion for accepting an 
argument as an "int", for built-in functions, but for user-defined 
functions we still have the old behaviour of truncating to int 
regardless. I guess the tighter criterion should be applied to user 
functions too.


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