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

Sven Schreiber svetosch at gmx.net
Sat Jul 4 02:31:11 EDT 2015

Am 04.07.2015 um 02:45 schrieb Allin Cottrell:
> On Fri, 3 Jul 2015, Allin Cottrell wrote:
>> On Fri, 3 Jul 2015, Sven Schreiber wrote:

>> 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.

Well I stumbled over this in one of Jack's functions in SVAR...

> * For "int" parameters to user-defined functions, only arguments very
> close to integers are accepted (as with built-in functions).

Yes I think having a common treatment is good.

> * The min and max fields in scalar parameter definitions are now
> respected, which I'm afraid has not been the case to date.

Meaning the bounds weren't checked?

> /* we take a single value with no colon as indicating a default */
> This does seem to be implicitly at variance with the documentation. We
> have to adjust either the parser or the documentation, but which way
> should we jump?
> Is it more common to want to specify a default value, regardless of min
> and max, or to specify a minimum regardless of max and default?
> I guess the former would have to be a lot more common than the latter to
> justify our current practice.

I actually do think (without proof) that specifying a default is more
common, such that the parameter also becomes optional.

Although of course it is also conceivable that somebody writing [0]
intends to enforce a non-negative value, this would not actually have
been possible with gretl's current behavior. So keeping the behavior and
updating the documentation seems the best way to me.


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