[Tutor] defining functions.. why return?
Wed, 05 Dec 2001 23:48:49 -0800
>THe thing is, if a function doesn't execute a return statement, it
>returns 0 when it finishes.
Not technically correct. Unless you explicitly return a
value, a function returns None, not 0.
> if 0: return 1 # never runs
>>> a = func()
>>> None == func()
>This function will return 0. In the book you're reading,
>the function returns 0 explicitly for clarity. If you drop
>it, it'll make no difference.
Since None evaluates the same as 0 in an if statement,
it's true that dropping 'return 0' in the example given
will work the same. However, this is not because the
function without a 'return 0' behaves identically.
Some other calling code might look for a return of 0,
and None wouldn't qualify.
>>> None == 0