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A general explanation of how functions are used to modularize a program.

Prerequisite material

Critical to this module is the review of several Connexions modules:

  1. m_18861 – Titled: Modularization and C++ Program Layout
  2. m_19136 – Titled: Pseudocode Examples for Functions
  3. m_18682 – Titled: Hierarchy or Structure Chart

You should review these materials before proceeding. If you are viewing this module on-line, links to these items are in the "Links" box to your right.

Concept of modularization

The concept is everywhere present in the real world about us. Simply put it is to take a large complicated problem and to divide it into smaller manageable pieces . The hierarchy chart of any large organization (government unit, company, university, hospital, etc.) will show levels of people with job titles that indicate a different area of responsibility. Each person is a small piece of the overall workings of the organization. Each person can concentrate on their unique talent or task to make sure it works properly. Collectively they accomplish the goals of the organization.  

Additionally, the concept has been around for a long time. A village of 300 years ago had farmers, tailors, butchers, blacksmiths, etc. Manufacturing is a prime example of not just work being modularized but the product itself is viewed in terms of modules or systems (Example of a automobile: engine, steering, brakes, etc.).

The world of computers, both hardware (equipment) and software (computer programs), also uses this modular concept. Thus, the concept migrates to a single computer program; allowing us to modularize the program into manageable tasks called functions.

Program control functions

Program Control functions normally do not communicate information to each other but use a common area for variable storage. The rules for how data is communicated in and out of a function vary greatly by programming language, but the concept is the same. The data items passed (or communicated) are called parameters. Thus the wording: parameter passing . However, with program control functions we use the data communication option of no communication in – with no communication out . Our data variables and constants are placed in a common area available to all functions (called global scope).

The identifier names for program control functions usually imply a task to be accomplished, such as get-data, process-data or show-results. As you learn to write more complicated programs the number of lines of code will increase. Prudence dictates that it would be beneficial to divide the program into functions that perform unique tasks. The larger the program the more need for modularization or creating of program control functions.

Depending on the programming language, there is a formal way to:

  1. define a function (it’s definition or the code it will execute))
  2. call a function
  3. declare a function (a prototype is a declaration to a complier)

One of the easier ways to understand program control function is to view an example. Even if you don’t know the C++ programming language, you can study the materials to help understand the modularization process.

Demonstration program in c++

Creating a folder or sub-folder for source code files

Depending on your compiler/IDE, you should decide where to download and store source code files for processing. Prudence dictates that you create these folders as needed prior to downloading source code files. A suggested sub-folder for the Bloodshed Dev-C++ 5 compiler/IDE might be named:

  • Demo_Programs

If you have not done so, please create the folder(s) and/or sub-folder(s) as appropriate.

Download the demo program

Download and store the following file(s) to your storage device in the appropriate folder(s). You may need to right click on some of the links and select "Save Target As" in order to download some of the files. Following the methods of your compiler/IDE, compile and run the program(s). Study the source code file(s) in conjunction with other learning materials.

Download from Connexions: Demo_Program_Control_Functions_before_Compiler_Test.cpp

Download from Connexions: Demo_Program_Control_Functions_Pseudocode.txt

Download from Connexions: Demo_Program_Control_Functions_Hierarchy_Chart.jpg

Download from Connexions: Demo_Program_Control_Functions.cpp

Study the materials collectively to understand modularization

The four items represent a progression from no modularization to modularization:

  1. Program code before it is modularized
  2. Modularized pseudocode and a hierarchy chart for the program
  3. Program code that has been modularized

The simplicity of the program should not be considered during this review. It is obvious that the program does not need modularization. The example is to show or demonstrate how to modularize a program for program control.

Definitions

common area
An area of the program where variables and constants are defined so that they are available to all functions.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Programming fundamentals - a modular structured approach using c++. OpenStax CNX. Jan 10, 2013 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10621/1.22
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