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2.7.3 Comments and the Help System

The help command (see section Commands for Getting Help) is able to find the first block of comments in a function and return those as a documentation string. This means that the same commands used to get help on built-in functions are available for properly formatted user-defined functions. For example, after defining the function f below,

 
function xdot = f (x, t)

# usage: f (x, t)
#
# This function defines the right-hand
# side functions for a set of nonlinear
# differential equations.

  r = 0.25;
  …
endfunction

the command help f produces the output

 
 usage: f (x, t)

 This function defines the right-hand
 side functions for a set of nonlinear
 differential equations.

Although it is possible to put comment lines into keyboard-composed, throw-away Octave programs, it usually isn't very useful because the purpose of a comment is to help you or another person understand the program at a later time.

The help parser currently only recognizes single line comments (see section Single Line Comments) and not block comments for the initial help text.


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