Cover by Marijn Haverbeke

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Chapter 2. Functions

We have already used several functions in the previous chapter—things such as alert and print—to order the machine to perform a specific operation. In this chapter, we will start creating our own functions, making it possible to extend the vocabulary that we have available. In a way, this resembles defining our own words inside a story we are writing to increase our expressiveness. Although such a thing is considered rather bad style in prose, in programming it is indispensable.

The Anatomy of a Function Definition

In its most basic form, a function definition looks like this:

function square(x) {
  return x * x;
}

square(12);
→ 144

Here, square is the name of the function. x is the name of its (first and only) argument. return ...

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