# 6.9 How FriCAS Determines What Function to Use¶

What happens if you define a function that has the same name as a library function? Well, if your function has the same name and number of arguments (we sometimes say arity) as another function in the library, then your function covers up the library function. If you want then to call the library function, you will have to package-call it. FriCAS can use both the functions you write and those that come from the library. Let’s do a simple example to illustrate this.

Suppose you (wrongly!) define sin in this way.

sin x == 1.0


Type: Void

The value 1.0 is returned for any argument.

sin 4.3

Compiling function sin with type Float -> Float


 1

Type: Float

If you want the library operation, we have to package-call it (see ugTypesPkgCall for more information).

sin(4.3) $Float    -0.916166 Type: Float sin(34.6)$Float


 -0.042468

Type: Float

Even worse, say we accidentally used the same name as a library function in the function.

sin x == sin x

Compiled code for sin has been cleared.
1 old definition(s) deleted for function or rule sin


Type: Void

Then FriCAS definitely does not understand us.

sin 4.3

AXIOM cannot determine the type of sin because it cannot analyze
the non-recursive part, if that exists. This may be remedied
by declaring the function.


Again, we could package-call the inside function.

sin x == sin(x) \$Float

1 old definition(s) deleted for function or rule sin


Type: Void

sin 4.3

   Compiling function sin with type Float -> Float
+++ |*1;sin;1;G82322| redefined


 -0.916166

Type: Float

Of course, you are unlikely to make such obvious errors. It is more probable that you would write a function and in the body use a function that you think is a library function. If you had also written a function by that same name, the library function would be invisible.

How does FriCAS determine what library function to call? It very much depends on the particular example, but the simple case of creating the polynomial x+2/3 will give you an idea.

1. The x is analyzed and its default type is Variable(x).
2. The 2 is analyzed and its default type is PositiveInteger.
3. The 3 is analyzed and its default type is PositiveInteger.
4. Because the arguments to / are integers, FriCAS gives the expression 2/3 a default target type of Fraction(Integer).
5. FriCAS looks in PositiveInteger for /. It is not found.
6. FriCAS looks in Fraction(Integer) for /. It is found for arguments of type Integer.
7. The 2 and 3 are converted to objects of type Integer (this is trivial) and / is applied, creating an object of type Fraction(Integer).
8. No + for arguments of types Variable(x) and Fraction(Integer) are found in either domain.
9. FriCAS resolves resolve (see ugTypesResolve ) the types and gets Polynomial (Fraction (Integer)).
10. The x and the 2/3 are converted to objects of this type and + is applied, yielding the answer, an object of type Polynomial (Fraction (Integer)).