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Indefinite numbers of arguments in a function

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg87818] Indefinite numbers of arguments in a function
  • From: Patrick Klitzke <philologos14 at gmx.de>
  • Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2008 02:37:39 -0400 (EDT)

Hello everybody,
Is it possible to define a function in Mathematica, where the numbers of 
arguments does not matter?

I know the function Plus is defined like that:

I call the function with two arguments( for example Plus[5,3]) or I can 
call the function with five arguments (for example
Plus[1,6,4,6,8]).

How can i define a function in Mathematica like that? I know I can 
define for ever number of arguments a function like that:
MyPlus[a_,b_]:=a+b
MyPlus[a_,b_,c_]:=a+b+c
MyPlus[a_,b_,c_,d_]:=a+b+c+d
MyPlus[a_,b_,c_,d_,e_]:=a+b+c+d+e

I also know that I can create a list as one argument:

MyPlus[list_List] := (
  m = 0; For[n = 1, n < Length[list] + 1, n++, m += list[[n]] ];
  m
   )


But since there are functions like Plus, there has to be a way to define 
those kind of functions.

I would be very glad, if someone could give me his advice.

Best regards,

Patrick Klitzke

email:   philologos14 at gmx.de


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