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Function Definition

Introduction to Function Definition


- To define a function in MACSYMA you use the := operator. E.g.


defines a function F. Anonmyous functions may also be created using LAMBDA. For example

lambda([i,j], ... )

can be used instead of F where

F(I,J):=BLOCK([], ... );

would return a list with 1 added to each term.

You may also define a function with a variable number of arguments, by having a final argument which is assigned to a list of the extra arguments:

(C8) f([u]):=u;
(C9) f(1,2,3,4);
(D9) 				 [1, 2, 3, 4]
(C11) f(a,b,[u]):=[a,b,u];
(C12) f(1,2,3,4,5,6);
(D12) 			     [1, 2, [3, 4, 5, 6]]

The right hand side of a function is an expression. Thus if you want a sequence of expressions, you do


and the value of exprn is what is returned by the function.

If you wish to make a return from some expression inside the function then you must use block and return.

block([],expr1,...,if(a>10) then return(a),...exprn)

is itelf an expression, and so could take the place of the right hand side of a function definition. Here it may happen that the return happens earlier than the last expression.

The first [] in the block, may contain a list of variables and variable assignments, such as [a:3,b,c:[]], which would cause the three variables a,b,and c to not refer to their global values, but rather have these special values for as long as the code executes inside the block, or inside functions called from inside the block. This is called dynamic binding, since the variables last from the start of the block to the time it exits. Once you return from the block, or throw out of it, the old values (if any) of the variables will be restored. It is certainly a good idea to protect your variables in this way. Note that the assignments in the block variables, are done in parallel. This means, that if you had used c:a in the above, the value of c would have been the value of a at the time you just entered the block, but before a was bound. Thus doing something like

block([a:a],expr1,... a:a+3,...exprn)

will protect the external value of a from being altered, but would let you access what that value was. Thus the right hand side of the assignments, is evaluated in the entering context, before any binding occurs. Using just block([x],.. would cause the x to have itself as value, just as if it would have if you entered a fresh MAXIMA session.

The actual arguments to a function are treated in exactly same way as the variables in a block. Thus in


we would have a similar context for evaluation of the expressions as if we had done


Inside functions, when the right hand side of a definition, may be computed at runtime, it is useful to use define and possibly buildq.


Function: BUILDQ([varlist],expression);

EXPRESSION is any single MAXIMA expression and VARLIST is a list of elements of the form <atom> or <atom>:<value>


The <value>s in the <varlist> are evaluated left to right (the syntax <atom> is equivalent to <atom>:<atom>). then these values are substituted into <expression> in parallel. If any <atom> appears as a single argument to the special form SPLICE (i.e. SPLICE(<atom>) ) inside <expression>, then the value associated with that <atom> must be a macsyma list, and it is spliced into <expression> instead of substituted.


The arguments to BUILDQ need to be protected from simplification until the substitutions have been carried out. This code should affect that by using '.

buildq can be useful for building functions on the fly. One of the powerful things about MAXIMA is that you can have your functions define other functions to help solve the problem. Further below we discuss building a recursive function, for a series solution. This defining of functions inside functions usually uses define, which evaluates its arguments. A number of examples are included under splice.

Function: SPLICE (atom)
This is used with buildq to construct a list. This is handy for making argument lists, in conjunction with BUILDQ

MPRINT([X]) ::= BUILDQ([U : x],
  if (debuglevel > 3) print(splice(u)));

Including a call like

MPRINT("matrix is ",MAT,"with length",LENGTH(MAT))

is equivalent to putting in the line

  THEN PRINT("matrix is ",MAT,"with length",

A more non trivial example would try to display the variable values AND their names.


should become

PRINT('A,"=",A,",",'B,"=",B,", and",'C,"=",C)

so that if it occurs as a line in a program we can print values.

(C101) foo(x,y,z):=mshow(x,y,z);
(C102) foo(1,2,3);
X = 1 , Y = 2 , and Z = 3

The actual definition of mshow is the following. Note how buildq lets you build 'QUOTED' structure, so that the 'u lets you get the variable name. Note that in macros, the RESULT is a piece of code which will then be substituted for the macro and evaluated.

		IF i < N
		    THEN ans
			    IF i < N-1 THEN [","]
			        ELSE [", and"])),

The splice also works to put arguments into algebraic operations:

(C108) BUILDQ([A:'[B,C,D]],+SPLICE(A));
(D108) D+C+B

Note how the simplification only occurs AFTER the substitution, The operation applying to the splice in the first cae is the + while in the second it is the *, yet logically you might thing splice(a)+splice(A) could be replaced by 2*splice(A). No simplification takes place with the buildq To understand what SPLICE is doing with the algebra you must understand that for MAXIMA, a formula an operation like A+B+C is really internally similar to +(A,B,C), and similarly for multiplication. Thus *(2,B,C,D) is 2*B*C*D

(C114) BUILDQ([A:'[B,C,D]],+SPLICE(A));
(D114) D+C+B
(D111) 2*D+2*C+2*B
(C112) BUILDQ([A:'[B,C,D]],2*SPLICE(A));
(D112) 2*B*C*D

Finally the buildq can be invaluable for building recursive functions. Suppose your program is solving a differential equation using the series method, and has determined that it needs to build a recursion relation


and it must do this on the fly inside your function. Now you would really like to add expand.


but how do you build this code. You want the expand to happen each time the function runs, NOT before it.


does the job. This might be useful, since when you do

With the Expand
(C28) f[6];
(D28) -AA1/8-13*AA0/180

where as without it is kept unsimplified, and even after 6 terms it becomes:

(C25) f[6];
(D25) (5*(-4*(-3*(-2*(AA1+AA0)+AA1+AA0)/2

The expression quickly becomes complicated if not simplified at each stage, so the simplification must be part of the definition. Hence the buildq is useful for building the form.


When using TRANSLATE and generating code with MACSYMA, there are a number of techniques which can save time and be helpful. Do DEMO("optimu.dem") for a demonstration. In particular, the function FLOATDEFUNK from TRANSL;OPTIMU FASL, creates a function definition from a math-like expression, but it optimizes it (with OPTIMIZE) and puts in the MODE_DECLAREations needed to COMPILE correctly. (This can be done by hand, of course). The demo will only run in a fresh macsyma.

Definitions for Function Definition

Function: APPLY (function, list)
gives the result of applying the function to the list of its arguments. This is useful when it is desired to compute the arguments to a function before applying that function. For example, if L is the list [1, 5, -10.2, 4, 3], then APPLY(MIN,L) gives -10.2. APPLY is also useful when calling functions which do not have their arguments evaluated if it is desired to cause evaluation of them. For example, if FILESPEC is a variable bound to the list [TEST, CASE] then APPLY(CLOSEFILE,FILESPEC) is equivalent to CLOSEFILE(TEST,CASE). In general the first argument to APPLY should be preceded by a ' to make it evaluate to itself. Since some atomic variables have the same name as certain functions the values of the variable would be used rather than the function because APPLY has its first argument evaluated as well as its second.

Function: BINDTEST (ai)
causes ai to signal an error if it ever is used in a computation unbound.

Function: BLOCK ([v1,...,vk], statement1,...,statementj)
Blocks in MACSYMA are somewhat analogous to subroutines in FORTRAN or procedures in ALGOL or PL/I. Blocks are like compound statements but also enable the user to label statements within the block and to assign "dummy" variables to values which are local to the block. The vi are variables which are local to the BLOCK and the stmti are any MACSYMA expressions. If no variables are to be made local then the list may be omitted. A block uses these local variables to avoid conflict with variables having the same names used outside of the block (i.e. global to the block). In this case, upon entry to the block, the global values are saved onto a stack and are inaccessible while the block is being executed. The local variables then are unbound so that they evaluate to themselves. They may be bound to arbitrary values within the block but when the block is exited the saved values are restored to these variables. The values created in the block for these local variables are lost. Where a variable is used within a block and is not in the list of local variables for that block it will be the same as the variable used outside of the block. If it is desired to save and restore other local properties besides VALUE, for example ARRAY (except for complete arrays), FUNCTION, DEPENDENCIES, ATVALUE, MATCHDECLARE, ATOMGRAD, CONSTANT, and NONSCALAR then the function LOCAL should be used inside of the block with arguments being the names of the variables. The value of the block is the value of the last statement or the value of the argument to the function RETURN which may be used to exit explicitly from the block. The function GO may be used to transfer control to the statement of the block that is tagged with the argument to GO. To tag a statement, precede it by an atomic argument as another statement in the BLOCK. For example: BLOCK([X],X:1,LOOP,X:X+1,...,GO(LOOP),...). The argument to GO must be the name of a tag appearing within the BLOCK. One cannot use GO to transfer to a tag in a BLOCK other than the one containing the GO. Blocks typically appear on the right side of a function definition but can be used in other places as well.

Function: BREAK (arg1, ...)
will evaluate and print its arguments and will then cause a (MACSYMA-BREAK) at which point the user can examine and change his environment. Upon typing EXIT; the computation resumes. Control-A (^A) will enter a MACSYMA-BREAK from any point interactively. EXIT; will continue the computation. Control-X may be used inside the MACSYMA-BREAK to quit locally, without quitting the main computation.


Function: CATCH (exp1,...,expn)
evaluates its arguments one by one; if the structure of the expi leads to the evaluation of an expression of the form THROW(arg), then the value of the CATCH is the value of THROW(arg). This "non-local return" thus goes through any depth of nesting to the nearest enclosing CATCH. There must be a CATCH corresponding to a THROW, else an error is generated. If the evaluation of the expi does not lead to the evaluation of any THROW then the value of the CATCH is the value of expn.
       IF X<0 THEN THROW(X) ELSE F(X)),L));
(C2) G([1,2,3,7]);
(D2)                     [F(1), F(2), F(3), F(7)]
(C3) G([1,2,-3,7]);
(D3)                                - 3

The function G returns a list of F of each element of L if L consists only of non-negative numbers; otherwise, G "catches" the first negative element of L and "throws" it up.

Function: COMPFILE ([filespec], f1, f2, ..., fn)
Compiles functions fi into the file "filespec". For convenience, see the COMPILE function.

default: [FALSE] when TRUE function definitions output by COMPFILE are pretty-printed.

Function: COMPILE (f)
The COMPILE command is a convenience feature in macsyma. It handles the calling of the function COMPFILE, which translates macsyma functions into lisp, the calling of the lisp compiler on the file produced by COMPFILE, and the loading of the output of the compiler, know as a FASL file, into the macsyma. It also checks the compiler comment listing output file for certain common errors. Do PRINTFILE(MCOMPI,DOC,MAXDOC); for more details. COMPILE(); causes macsyma to prompt for arguments. COMPILE(function1,function2,...); compiles the functions, it uses the name of function1 as the first name of the file to put the lisp output. COMPILE(ALL); or COMPILE(FUNCTIONS); will compile all functions. COMPILE([file-name],function1,function2,...); N.B. all arguments are evaluated, just like a normal function (it is a normal function!). Therefore, if you have variables with the same name as part of the file you can not ignore that fact.

Function: COMPILE_LISP_FILE ("input filename")
which takes an optional second argument of "output filename," can be used in conjunction with


For convenience you might define


These file-oriented commands are to be preferred over the use of COMPILE, COMPFILE, and the TRANSLATE SAVE combination.

Function: DEFINE (f(x1, ...), body)
is equivalent to f(x1,...):="body but when used inside functions it happens at execution time rather than at the time of definition of the function which contains it.

Function: DEFINE_VARIABLE (name,default-binding,mode,optional-documentation)

introduces a global variable into the MACSYMA environment. This is for user-written packages, which are often translated or compiled. Thus


does the following:

(1) MODE_DECLARE(FOO,BOOLEAN); sets it up for the translator.

(2) If the variable is unbound, it sets it: FOO:TRUE.

(3) DECLARE(FOO,SPECIAL); declares it special.

(4) Sets up an assign property for it to make sure that it never gets set to a value of the wrong mode. E.g. FOO:44 would be an error once FOO is defined BOOLEAN.

See DESCRIBE(MODE_DECLARE); for a list of the possible "modes". The optional 4th argument is a documentation string. When TRANSLATE_FILE is used on a package which includes documentation strings, a second file is output in addition to the LISP file which will contain the documentation strings, formatted suitably for use in manuals, usage files, or (for instance) DESCRIBE. With any variable which has been DEFINE_VARIABLE'd with mode other than ANY, you can give a VALUE_CHECK property, which is a function of one argument called on the value the user is trying to set the variable to.

PUT('G5,LAMBDA([U],IF U#'G5 THEN ERROR("Don't set G5")),

Use DEFINE_VARIABLE(G5,'G5,ANY_CHECK, "this ain't supposed to be set by anyone but me.") ANY_CHECK is a mode which means the same as ANY, but which keeps DEFINE_VARIABLE from optimizing away the assign property.

Function: DISPFUN (f1, f2, ...)
displays the definition of the user defined functions f1, f2, ... which may also be the names of array associated functions, subscripted functions, or functions with constant subscripts which are the same as those used when the functions were defined. DISPFUN(ALL) will display all user defined functions as given on the FUNCTIONS and ARRAYS lists except subscripted functions with constant subscripts. E.g. if the user has defined a function F(x), DISPFUN(F); will display the definition.

default: [] - all user defined functions (set up by f(x):=...).

Function: FUNDEF (functionname)
returns the function definition associated with "functionname". FUNDEF(fnname); is similar to DISPFUN(fnname); except that FUNDEF does not invoke display.

Function: FUNMAKE (name,[arg1,...,argn])
returns name(arg1,...,argn) without calling the function name.

Function: LOCAL (v1, v2, ...)
causes the variables v1,v2,... to be local with respect to all the properties in the statement in which this function is used. LOCAL may only be used in BLOCKs, in the body of function definitions or LAMBDA expressions, or in the EV function and only one occurrence is permitted in each. LOCAL is independent of CONTEXT.

default:[FALSE] - Controls advanced features which affect the efficiency of macros. Possible settings: FALSE -- Macros expand normally each time they are called. EXPAND -- The first time a particular call is evaluated, the expansion is "remembered" internally, so that it doesn't have to be recomputed on subsequent calls making subsequent calls faster. The macro call still GRINDs and DISPLAYs normally, however extra memory is required to remember all of the expansions. DISPLACE -- The first time a particular call is evaluated, the expansion is substituted for the call. This requires slightly less storage than when MACROEXPANSION is set to EXPAND and is just as fast, but has the disadvantage that the original macro call is no longer remembered and hence the expansion will be seen if DISPLAY or GRIND is called. See documentation for TRANSLATE and MACROS for more details.

default: [TRUE] - If TRUE, MODE_DECLARE checks the modes of bound variables.

default: [FALSE] - If TRUE, MODE_DECLARE calls error.

default: [TRUE] - If TRUE, mode errors are described.

Function: MODE_DECLARE (y1, mode1, y2, mode2, ...)
MODEDECLARE is a synonym for this. MODE_DECLARE is used to declare the modes of variables and functions for subsequent translation or compilation of functions. Its arguments are pairs consisting of a variable yi, and a mode which is one of BOOLEAN, FIXNUM, NUMBER, RATIONAL, or FLOAT. Each yi may also be a list of variables all of which are declared to have modei. If yi is an array, and if every element of the array which is referenced has a value then ARRAY(yi, COMPLETE, dim1, dim2, ...) rather than
ARRAY(yi, dim1, dim2, ...)

should be used when first declaring the bounds of the array. If all the elements of the array are of mode FIXNUM (FLOAT), use FIXNUM (FLOAT) instead of COMPLETE. Also if every element of the array is of the same mode, say m, then


should be used for efficient translation. Also numeric code using arrays can be made to run faster by declaring the expected size of the array, as in:


for a floating point number array which is 10 x 10. Additionally one may declare the mode of the result of a function by using FUNCTION(F1,F2,...) as an argument; here F1,F2,... are the names of functions. For example the expression,


declares that X and the values returned by F1,F2,... are single-word integers and that Q is an array of floating point numbers. MODE_DECLARE is used either immediately inside of a function definition or at top-level for global variables. Do PRINTFILE(MCOMPI,DOC,MAXDOC); for some examples of the use of MODE_DECLARE in translation and compilation.

Function: MODE_IDENTITY (arg1,arg2)
A special form used with MODE_DECLARE and MACROS to delcare, e.g., a list of lists of flonums, or other compound data object. The first argument to MODE_IDENTITY is a primitive value mode name as given to MODE_DECLARE (i.e. [FLOAT,FIXNUM,NUMBER, LIST,ANY]), and the second argument is an expression which is evaluated and returned as the value of MODE_IDENTITY. However, if the return value is not allowed by the mode declared in the first argument, an error or warning is signalled. The important thing is that the MODE of the expression as determined by the MACSYMA to Lisp translator, will be that given as the first argument, independent of anything that goes on in the second argument. E.g. X:3.3; MODE_IDENTITY(FIXNUM,X); is an error. MODE_IDENTITY(FLONUM,X) returns 3.3 . This has a number of uses, e.g., if you knew that FIRST(L) returned a number then you might write MODE_IDENTITY(NUMBER,FIRST(L)). However, a more efficient way to do it would be to define a new primitive,


and use FIRSTNUMB every time you take the first of a list of numbers.

default: [FALSE] - if TRUE removes global declarations in the local context. This applies to variables which are formal parameters to functions which one is TRANSLATE-ing from MACSYMA code to LISP.

default:[FALSE] - if true, TRANSLATE will generate the declarations necessary for possible compilation. The COMPFILE command uses TRANSCOMPILE:TRUE;.

Function: TRANSLATE (f1, f2, ...)
translates the user defined functions f1,f2,... from the MACSYMA language to LISP (i.e. it makes them EXPRs). This results in a gain in speed when they are called. There is now a version of macsyma with the macsyma to lisp translator pre-loaded into it. It is available by typing :TM (for TranslateMacsyma) at DDT level. When given a file name, E.g. :TM GJC;TMTEST > , it gives that file to the function TRANSLATE_FILE, and proceeds without further user interaction. If no file name is given, :TM gives a regular macsyma "(C1)" line. P.s. A user init file with second name "TM" will be loaded if it exists. You may just want to link this to your macsyma init file. Functions to be translated should include a call to MODE_DECLARE at the beginning when possible in order to produce more efficient code. For example:


where the X1,X2,... are the parameters to the function and the v1,v2,... are the local variables. The names of translated functions are removed from the FUNCTIONS list if SAVEDEF is FALSE (see below) and are added to the PROPS lists. Functions should not be translated unless they are fully debugged. Also, expressions are assumed simplified; if they are not, correct but non- optimal code gets generated. Thus, the user should not set the SIMP switch to FALSE which inhibits simplification of the expressions to be translated. The switch TRANSLATE, default: [FALSE], If TRUE, causes automatic translation of a user's function to LISP. Note that translated functions may not run identically to the way they did before translation as certain incompatabilities may exist between the LISP and MACSYMA versions. Principally, the RAT function with more than one argument and the RATVARS function should not be used if any variables are MODE_DECLAREd CRE. Also the PREDERROR:FALSE setting will not translate. SAVEDEF[TRUE] - if TRUE will cause the MACSYMA version of a user function to remain when the function is TRANSLATEd. This permits the definition to be displayed by DISPFUN and allows the function to be edited. TRANSRUN[TRUE] - if FALSE will cause the interpreted version of all functions to be run (provided they are still around) rather than the translated version. One can translate functions stored in a file by giving TRANSLATE an argument which is a file specification. This is a list of the form [fn1,fn2,DSK,dir] where fn1 fn2 is the name of the file of MACSYMA functions, and dir is the name of a file directory. The result returned by TRANSLATE is a list of the names of the functions TRANSLATEd. In the case of a file translation the corresponding element of the list is a list of the first and second new file names containing the LISP code resulting from the translation. This will be fn1 LISP on the disk directory dir. The file of LISP code may be read into MACSYMA by using the LOADFILE function.

Function: TRANSLATE_FILE (file)
translates a file of MACSYMA code into a file of LISP code. It takes one or two arguments. The first argument is the name of the MACSYMA file, and the optional second argument is the name of the LISP file to produce. The second argument defaults to the first argument with second file name the value of TR_OUTPUT_FILE_DEFAULT which defaults to TRLISP. For example: TRANSLATE_FILE("test.mc")); will translate "test.mc" to "test.LISP". Also produced is a file of translator warning messages of various degrees of severity. The second file name is always UNLISP. This file contains valuable (albeit obsure for some) information for tracking down bugs in translated code. Do APROPOS(TR_) to get a list of TR (for TRANSLATE) switches. In summary, TRANSLATE_FILE("foo.mc"), LOADFILE("foo.LISP") is "=" to BATCH("foo.mc") modulo certain restrictions (the use of " and % for example).

Variable: TRANSRUN
default: [TRUE] - if FALSE will cause the interpreted version of all functions to be run (provided they are still around) rather than the translated version.

default: [TRUE] - If TRUE runtime code uses the value of the variable as the array.

default: [TRUE] - Gives a warning if a bound variable is found being used as a function.

default: [FALSE] - Determines whether messages generated by TRANSLATE_FILE during translation of a file will be sent to the TTY. If FALSE (the default), messages about translation of the file are only inserted into the UNLISP file. If TRUE, the messages are sent to the TTY and are also inserted into the UNLISP file.

default: [TRUE] - States whether the arc functions might return complex results. The arc functions are SQRT, LOG, ACOS, etc. e.g. When it is TRUE then ACOS(X) will be of mode ANY even if X is of mode FLOAT. When FALSE then ACOS(X) will be of mode FLOAT if and only if X is of mode FLOAT.

default: [GENERAL] - FALSE means give up and call MEVAL, EXPR means assume Lisp fixed arg function. GENERAL, the default gives code good for MEXPRS and MLEXPRS but not MACROS. GENERAL assures variable bindings are correct in compiled code. In GENERAL mode, when translating F(X), if F is a bound variable, then it assumes that APPLY(F,[X]) is meant, and translates a such, with apropriate warning. There is no need to turn this off. With the default settings, no warning messages implies full compatibility of translated and compiled code with the macsyma interpreter.

Variable: TR_GEN_TAGS
default: [FALSE] - If TRUE, TRANSLATE_FILE generates a TAGS file for use by the text editor.

Variable: TR_NUMER
default: [FALSE] - If TRUE numer properties are used for atoms which have them, e.g. %PI.

default: [100] - The maximum number of times the macro-expansion and optimization pass of the translator will loop in considering a form. This is to catch MACRO expansion errors, and non-terminating optimization properties.

default: [TRLISP] - This is the second file name to be used for translated lisp output.

default: [FALSE] - If TRUE, output possible multiple evaluations in an attempt to interface to the COMPARE package.

default: [FALSE] - If TRUE TRANSLATE_FILE and COMPFILE output forms which will be macroexpanded but not compiled into machine code by the lisp compiler.


The list of the switches that affect the form of the translated output. This information is useful to system people when trying to debug the translator. By comparing the translated product to what should have been produced for a given state, it is possible to track down bugs.

default: [FALSE] is bound to the quoted string form of the true name of the file most recently translated by TRANSLATE_FILE.

Variable: TR_VERSION
- The version number of the translator.

Function: TR_WARNINGS_GET ()
Prints a list of warnings which have been given by the translator during the current translation.

default: [TRUE] - Gives a warning when when function calls are being made which may not be correct due to improper declarations that were made at translate time.

default: [COMPFILE] - Gives a warning if any FEXPRs are encountered. FEXPRs should not normally be output in translated code, all legitimate special program forms are translated.

default: [COMPFILE] - Gives a warning if the function MEVAL gets called. If MEVAL is called that indicates problems in the translation.

Variable: TR_WARN_MODE
default: [ALL] - Gives a warning when variables are assigned values inappropriate for their mode.

default: [COMPILE] - Determines when to send warnings about undeclared variables to the TTY.

default: [ALL] - Gives a warning when undefined global variables are seen.

Variable: TR_WINDY
default: [TRUE] - Generate "helpfull" comments and programming hints.

default: [COMPFILE] - A switch in the Translator. There are four relevant settings: SETTING | ACTION ------------------------------------------------------------ FALSE | never print warning messages. COMPFILE | warn when in COMPFILE TRANSLATE | warn when in TRANSLATE and when TRANSLATE:TRUE ALL | warn in COMPFILE and TRANSLATE ------------------------------------------------------------ Do MODE_DECLARE(<variable>,ANY) to declare a variable to be a general macsyma variable (i.e. not limited to being FLOAT or FIXNUM). The extra work in declaring all your variables in code to be compiled should pay off.

Function: COMPILE_FILE (filename,&optional-outfile)
It takes filename which contains macsyma code, and translates this to lisp and then compiles the result. It returns a list of four files (the original file,translation, notes on translation and the compiled code).

When translating a file of macsyma code to lisp, it is important for the translator to know which functions it sees in the file are to be called as translated or compiled functions, and which ones are just macsyma functions or undefined. Putting this declaration at the top of the file, lets it know that although a symbol does which does not yet have a lisp function value, will have one at call time. (MFUNCTION-CALL fn arg1 arg2.. ) is generated when the translator does not know fn is going to be a lisp function.

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