Defines a procedure

[Public|Private] Sub identifier [CDecl|Pascal|StdCall] [Overload] [Alias external_identifier] [( [parameter_list] )] [Static] [Export]
End Sub

[Public] Sub identifier [CDecl|Pascal|StdCall] [Overload] [Alias external_identifier] [()] [Constructor|Destructor] [Static]
End Sub

identifier: the name of the subroutine
external_identifier: externally visible (to the linker) name enclosed in quotes
parameter_list: parameter[, parameter[, ...]]
parameter: [ByRef|ByVal] identifier [As type] [= default_value]
identifier: the name of the variable referenced in the subroutine. If the argument is an array then the identifier must be followed by an empty parenthesis.
type: the type of variable
default_value: the value of the argument if none is specified in the call
statements: one or more statements that make up the subroutine body

A subroutine is a block of code which may be called at any time from a program. This code may need to be executed multiple times, and subroutines provide an invaluable means to simplify code by replacing these blocks of code with a single subroutine call. A subroutine also serves to allow a user to extend the FreeBASIC language to provide custom commands. Many of the functions built into FreeBASIC are merely subroutines part of a "runtime library" linked to by default.

The Sub keyword marks the beginning of a subroutine, and its end is marked by End Sub. The "name" parameter is the name by which this subroutine is called. For instance, if the declaration is "Sub...End Sub", the user can execute the code in between "Sub foo" and "End Sub" by using "foo" as a statement. This code is executed separate from the code which calls the subroutine, so any variable names, unless they are shared, are not available to the subroutine. Values can, however, be passed using parameters.

Parameters are the arguments passed to any statement. For instance, if a user executes a statement as "Print 4", the value "4" is passed to the function "Print". Parameters that need to be passed to a subroutine are supplied by one or more parameter arguments in the "Sub" keyword. Creating a subroutine with "Sub mysub(foo, bar)...End Sub", allows the code in between "Sub" and "End Sub" to refer to the first passed argument as "foo" and the second passed argument as "bar". If a parameter is given a default value, that parameter is optional.
Array parameters are specified by following an identifier with an empty parenthesis. Note that array parameters are always ByRef and the ByRef keyword is neither required nor allowed for array parameters. When calling a subroutine with an array argument the parenthesis must be supplied there too.

In the default dialect -lang fb, parameters must also have a supplied type, in the form "parameter as type". Type suffixes are not allowed.

In the -lang qb and -lang fblite dialects only, it will be given a default type if the type is not explicitly given either by name or by type suffix. The default type is Single in the -lang qb dialect and Integer in the -lang fblite dialect.

A subroutine can also specify how parameters are passed, either as "Byref" or "Byval", as shown in the syntax definition. If a parameter is "Byref", the parameter name literally becomes a reference to the original variable passed to the subroutine. Any changes made to that variable will be reflected outside of the subroutine. If a parameter is passed "Byval", however, the value of any passed variable is copied into a new variable, and any changes made to it will not affect the original.

The Static specifier indicates that the values of all local variables defined in the sub should be preserved between calls. To specify individual local variables as static see the Static keyword.

Sub is the same as Function, except it does not allow a value to be returned.

When calling a subroutine, parentheses after the subroutine name (surrounding the argument list if any) are optional.

The second syntax defines either a constructor or destructor using the Constructor and Destructor keywords, respectively. Constructor subroutines are executed before the first line of code in the module, while destructors execute on module exit. Note the public access specifier and empty parameter list for both constructors and destructors.

'' Example of writing colored text using a sub:

Sub PrintColoredText( ByVal colour As Integer, ByRef text As String )
   Color colour
   Print text
End Sub

   PrintColoredText( 1, "blue" )        '' a few colors
   PrintColoredText( 2, "green" )
   PrintColoredText( 4, "red" )
   Dim i As Integer
   For i = 0 To 15                        '' all 16 colors
      PrintColoredText( i, ("color " & i) )
   Next i

' The following demonstrates optional parameters.

Sub TestSub(P As String = "Default")
    Print P
End Sub

TestSub "Testing:"

Dialect Differences:
Differences from QB:
See also:
Back to Procedures

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