( Shell Functions

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 3.3 Shell Functions
 Shell functions are a way to group commands for later execution using a
 single name for the group.  They are executed just like a "regular"
 command.  When the name of a shell function is used as a simple command
 name, the list of commands associated with that function name is
 executed.  Shell functions are executed in the current shell context;
 no new process is created to interpret them.
    Functions are declared using this syntax: 
    This defines a shell function named NAME.  The reserved word
 `function' is optional.  If the `function' reserved word is supplied,
 the parentheses are optional.  The BODY of the function is the compound
 command COMPOUND-COMMAND ( Compound Commands).  That command is
 usually a LIST enclosed between { and }, but may be any compound
 command listed above.  COMPOUND-COMMAND is executed whenever NAME is
 specified as the name of a command.  When the shell is in POSIX mode
 ( Bash POSIX Mode), NAME may not be the same as one of the
 Redirections::) associated with the shell function are performed when
 the function is executed.
    A function definition may be deleted using the `-f' option to the
 `unset' builtin ( Bourne Shell Builtins).
    The exit status of a function definition is zero unless a syntax
 error occurs or a readonly function with the same name already exists.
 When executed, the exit status of a function is the exit status of the
 last command executed in the body.
    Note that for historical reasons, in the most common usage the curly
 braces that surround the body of the function must be separated from
 the body by `blank's or newlines.  This is because the braces are
 reserved words and are only recognized as such when they are separated
 from the command list by whitespace or another shell metacharacter.
 Also, when using the braces, the LIST must be terminated by a semicolon,
 a `&', or a newline.
    When a function is executed, the arguments to the function become
 the positional parameters during its execution ( Positional
 Parameters).  The special parameter `#' that expands to the number of
 positional parameters is updated to reflect the change.  Special
 parameter `0' is unchanged.  The first element of the `FUNCNAME'
 variable is set to the name of the function while the function is
    All other aspects of the shell execution environment are identical
 between a function and its caller with these exceptions: the `DEBUG'
 and `RETURN' traps are not inherited unless the function has been given
 the `trace' attribute using the `declare' builtin or the `-o functrace'
 option has been enabled with the `set' builtin, (in which case all
 functions inherit the `DEBUG' and `RETURN' traps), and the `ERR' trap
 is not inherited unless the `-o errtrace' shell option has been enabled.
  Bourne Shell Builtins, for the description of the `trap'
    The `FUNCNEST' variable, if set to a numeric value greater than 0,
 defines a maximum function nesting level.  Function invocations that
 exceed the limit cause the entire command to abort.
    If the builtin command `return' is executed in a function, the
 function completes and execution resumes with the next command after
 the function call.  Any command associated with the `RETURN' trap is
 executed before execution resumes.  When a function completes, the
 values of the positional parameters and the special parameter `#' are
 restored to the values they had prior to the function's execution.  If
 a numeric argument is given to `return', that is the function's return
 status; otherwise the function's return status is the exit status of
 the last command executed before the `return'.
    Variables local to the function may be declared with the `local'
 builtin.  These variables are visible only to the function and the
 commands it invokes.
    Function names and definitions may be listed with the `-f' option to
 the `declare' (`typeset') builtin command ( Bash Builtins).  The
 `-F' option to `declare' or `typeset' will list the function names only
 (and optionally the source file and line number, if the `extdebug'
 shell option is enabled).  Functions may be exported so that subshells
 automatically have them defined with the `-f' option to the `export'
 builtin ( Bourne Shell Builtins).  Note that shell functions and
 variables with the same name may result in multiple identically-named
 entries in the environment passed to the shell's children.  Care should
 be taken in cases where this may cause a problem.
    Functions may be recursive.  The `FUNCNEST' variable may be used to
 limit the depth of the function call stack and restrict the number of
 function invocations.  By default, no limit is placed on the number of
 recursive  calls.
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