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Formal Parameter Exception

The pattern-matching facility is not applied to ordinary formal function parameters [5]. In other words, f(x,y,z)=expression is treated as a function having three formal parameters that are expected to appear literally in expression (e.g., an expression such as x*y+z). This interpretation is in contrast to a function whose input is three parallel block diagrams of arbitrary generality. As a result of this exception, the mere number of formal parameters does not contribute to the uniqueness of a pattern. For example, the following program generates a compile-time error:

  f(x,y) = f(x) + f(y);  // (x,y) => f(x),f(y):+
  f(x) = 2*x;            // (x) => 2,x:*
  process = f(3,5);
The compiler-error triggered is ``inconsistent number of parameters in pattern-matching rule: (x) => 2,x:*; previous rule was (x,y) => f(x),f(y):+''. On the other hand, the following program outputs the constant signal 16:
  f((x,y)) = f(x) + f(y);
  f(x) = 2*x;
  process = f((3,5));
The extra parentheses distinguish the pattern (x,y) from formal parameters x,y in this case.

As another example, the following program also outputs the constant signal 16:

  f(x*y) = f(x) + f(y);
  f(x) = 2*x;
  process = f(3*5);
Since the expression x*y does not look like a list of formal parameters, it doesn't need additional parentheses.


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``Audio Signal Processing in Faust'', by Julius O. Smith III.
Copyright © 2022-05-05 by Julius O. Smith III
Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA),   Stanford University
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