# Functions

Welcome to tutorial no. 6 in our Golang tutorial series.

### What is a function?

A function is a block of code that performs a specific task. A function takes an input, performs some calculations on the input, and generates an output.

### Function declaration

The syntax for declaring a function in go is

```
1func functionname(parametername type) returntype {
2 //function body
3}
```

The function declaration starts with a `func`

keyword followed by the `functionname`

. The parameters are specified between `(`

and `)`

followed by the `returntype`

of the function. The syntax for specifying a parameter is, parameter name followed by the type. Any number of parameters can be specified like `(parameter1 type, parameter2 type)`

. Then there is a block of code between `{`

and `}`

which is the body of the function.

The parameters and return type are optional in a function. Hence the following syntax is also a valid function declaration.

```
1func functionname() {
2}
```

### Sample Function

Let’s write a function that takes the price of a single product and the number of products as input parameters and calculates the total price by multiplying these two values and returns the output.

```
1func calculateBill(price int, no int) int {
2 var totalPrice = price * no
3 return totalPrice
4}
```

The above function has two input parameters `price`

and `no`

of type int and it returns the `totalPrice`

which is the product of price and no. The return value is also of type int.

**If consecutive parameters are of the same type, we can avoid writing the type each time and it is enough to be written once at the end. ie price int, no int can be written as price, no int**. The above function can hence be rewritten as,

```
1func calculateBill(price, no int) int {
2 var totalPrice = price * no
3 return totalPrice
4}
```

Now that we have a function ready, let’s call it from somewhere in the code. The syntax for calling a function is `functionname(parameters)`

. The above function can be called using the code.

```
calculateBill(10, 5)
```

Here is the complete program which uses the above function and prints the total price.

```
1package main
2
3import (
4 "fmt"
5)
6
7func calculateBill(price, no int) int {
8 var totalPrice = price * no
9 return totalPrice
10}
11
12func main() {
13 price, no := 90, 6
14 totalPrice := calculateBill(price, no)
15 fmt.Println("Total price is", totalPrice)
16}
```

The above program will print

```
Total price is 540
```

### Multiple return values

It is possible to return multiple values from a function. Let’s write a function `rectProps`

which takes the `length`

and `width`

of a rectangle and returns both the `area`

and `perimeter`

of the rectangle. The area of the rectangle is the product of length and width and the perimeter is twice the sum of the length and width.

```
1package main
2
3import (
4 "fmt"
5)
6
7func rectProps(length, width float64)(float64, float64) {
8 var area = length * width
9 var perimeter = (length + width) * 2
10 return area, perimeter
11}
12
13func main() {
14 area, perimeter := rectProps(10.8, 5.6)
15 fmt.Printf("Area %f Perimeter %f", area, perimeter)
16}
```

If a function returns multiple return values then they must be specified between `(`

and `)`

. `func rectProps(length, width float64)(float64, float64)`

has two float64 parameters `length and width`

and also returns two `float64`

values. The above program prints

```
Area 60.480000 Perimeter 32.800000
```

### Named return values

It is possible to return named values from a function. If a return value is named, it can be considered as being declared as a variable in the first line of the function.

The above rectProps can be rewritten using named return values as

```
1func rectProps(length, width float64)(area, perimeter float64) {
2 area = length * width
3 perimeter = (length + width) * 2
4 return //no explicit return value
5}
```

**area** and **perimeter** are the named return values in the above function. Note that the return statement in the function does not explicitly return any value. Since `area`

and `perimeter`

are specified in the function declaration as return values, they are automatically returned from the function when a return statement is encountered.

### Blank Identifier

**_** is known as the blank identifier in Go. It can be used in place of any value of any type. Let’s see what’s the use of this blank identifier.

The `rectProps`

function returns the area and perimeter of the rectangle. What if we only need the `area`

and want to discard the `perimeter`

. This is where `_`

is of use.

The program below uses only the `area`

returned from the `rectProps`

function.

```
1package main
2
3import (
4 "fmt"
5)
6
7func rectProps(length, width float64) (float64, float64) {
8 var area = length * width
9 var perimeter = (length + width) * 2
10 return area, perimeter
11}
12func main() {
13 area, _ := rectProps(10.8, 5.6) // perimeter is discarded
14 fmt.Printf("Area %f ", area)
15}
```

In line no. 13 we use only the `area`

and the `_`

identifier is used to discard the `perimeter`

.

This brings us to the end of this tutorial. I hope you liked it. Please leave your feedback and comments. Please consider sharing this tutorial on twitter and LinkedIn. Have a good day.

If you would like to advertise on this website, hire me, or if you have any other software development needs please email me at *naveen[at]golangbot[dot]com*.

**Next tutorial - Packages**