[EN] Function - Class Glossary - Every day jargon used when dealing with code

  • Function - Class

    Argument - Parameter

    A parameter (or formal argument) is a variable in a function or method definition. When the function is called, the argument is the data we pass in the function call.

      int square(int number)  // number is the parameter
      { return number * number; }
      auto result = square(3); // 3 is the argument


    A callback is a function that is passed as an argument to a function, which is expected to call back (execute) at a convenient time. This may for instance be to display information (as the number of lines) of a file once read.

      // Callback definition
      function displayCount(count)
      { console.log("File contains " + count + " lines."); }
      readFile("text.txt", displayCount); // Callback passed as argument

    Callbacks are used everywhere in association with events in web development. In the case of an asynchronous call, call back can be executed when a response has been received.


    A class (prototype) is a template that defines object properties and may also describe object behavior.

    Difference Class - Prototype and Object - Instance

      class Car // Class definition
        Car(string color) { this.color = color; } // Constructor
        string GetColor() { return this.color; }  // Method
        string color;  // Attribute
    const auto greenCar = new Car('green'); // Create instance
    cout << greenCar.GetColor();            // Display car color - 'green'

    We can think of class as a sketch (prototype) of a car. It contains all the details about the number of tires, the doors, the color… Based on these descriptions we built a green car. As many cars can be made from the same prototype, we can create as many objects as we want from a class.


    The constructor is a method, inside a class, that is used to instantiate (create an instance) an object. It is automatically called when an object is built.

    Curried function

    A curried function is a function that takes multiple arguments and returns successively another function that will take the next argument provided as a parameter. The last function returns the result of applying the function to all of its arguments.

      const sum = x => y => x + y;
      sum (2);    // returns a function y => 2 + y
      sum (2)(1); // returns 3

    In other words, it is a function that takes multiple arguments one at a time.


    A function is a named section of a program that performs a specific task.

      multiply(3, 3); // multiply is the function called

    Some programming languages make a distinction between a function, which returns a value, and a procedure, which performs some operation but does not return a value.


    An instance is an occurrence of a class. Above (cf. Class), greenCar is an instance of the class Car. Another instance of this class could be created by writing:

      const auto otherGreenCar = new Car('green');


    A method is a function that belongs to a class or an object. It is bound to it, defined only within that scope of usage.

    Nested Function

    A nested function is a function contained inside of another function. It can be used to limit the scope of the inner function.

      function getSurfBoard(weather, size, height) {
        const boardList = getBoardForWeather(weather);
        // Nested function
        function filterBoardByBody(size, height) {...}

    Recursive Function

    The term recursive describes a function or method that calls itself.

    Understanding how recursion works is a fundamental programming skill.

      function fibonacci(number) {
        if (number === 0) return 0;
        if (number === 1) return 1;
        return fibonacci(number - 1) + fibonacci(number - 2);

    As a reminder the Fibonacci numbers are defined as follow:
    F(0) = 0
    F(1) = 1
    F(n) = F(n−1) + F(n−2)



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