Can global variable be passed into Python function?

Roy Smith roy at
Sat Mar 1 01:02:44 CET 2014

In article <0b414429-74ee-45dd-9465-c87e98c362f2 at>,
 "Mark H. Harris" <harrismh777 at> wrote:

> On Friday, February 28, 2014 3:03:25 PM UTC-6, Marko Rauhamaa wrote:
> > 
> > Marko
>    ...  and between me and you, here is a snip from from the atan(x) 
>    function:
>     if (n**2 < D(1)):
>         a = __atan__(n)
>     elif (n == D(1)):
>         a = gpi/4
>     elif (n == D(-1)):
>         a = -(gpi/4)
>     elif (n < D(-1)):
>         a = __atan__Lt_neg1__(n)
>     else:
>         a = __atan__Gt_1__(n)
>    This if--elif--else  is not only ugly, its just not readable either, and 
>    besides that, its not elegant, nor is it humanly helpful...   its does 
>    work though, and its absolutely necessary.   ugh.
>    First, its not immediately clear what it does. Well, there isn't just one 
>    atan(x) routine,  there are at least four of them, depending on whether 
>    you're a purist, and they must be selected.

This kind of stuff is pretty common in numerical code.  Depending on the 
sign/magnitude/quadrant/whatever of the argument, you'll want to use one 
of several algorithms to minimize roundoff error, etc.

But, how would this be any nicer with switch?

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