In the formal argument list, it is possible to use the dummy placeholder
~ instead of a name. This indicates that the corresponding argument
value should be ignored and not stored to any variable.
function val = pick2nd (~, arg2) val = arg2; endfunction
The value of
nargin is not affected by using this declaration.
Return arguments can also be ignored using the same syntax. For example, the
sort function returns both the sorted values, and an index vector for the
original input which will result in a sorted output. Ignoring the second
output is simple—don’t request more than one output. But ignoring the first,
and calculating just the second output, requires the use of the
x = [2, 3, 1]; [s, i] = sort (x) ⇒ s = 1 2 3 i = 3 1 2 [~, i] = sort (x) ⇒ i = 3 1 2
When using the
~ placeholder, commas—not whitespace—must be used
to separate output arguments. Otherwise, the interpreter will view
the logical not operator.
[~ i] = sort (x) parse error: invalid left hand side of assignment
Functions may take advantage of ignored outputs to reduce the number of
calculations performed. To do so, use the
isargout function to query
whether the output argument is wanted. For example:
function [out1, out2] = long_function (x, y, z) if (isargout (1)) ## Long calculation … out1 = result; endif … endfunction
Within a function, return a logical value indicating whether the argument k will be assigned to a variable on output.
If the result is false, the argument has been ignored during the function
call through the use of the tilde (~) special output argument. Functions
isargout to avoid performing unnecessary calculations for
outputs which are unwanted.
If k is outside the range
1:max (nargout), the function returns
false. k can also be an array, in which case the function works
element-by-element and a logical array is returned. At the top level,
isargout returns an error.