Differences between method and Function

Three common words that I see being defined with such ferocity are method, procedure and function. People especially mathematicians and computer software developers know that there exists a slight difference between these words. However, for most ordinary people it may sound different but people usually confuse them. To clear the air, we have thought of sharing 10 main differences between two of these words-Method and function.

Before we start talking about the differences between methods and functions, we should spare some time and touch on similarities between the two. One of the major similarities is that the two terms refers to codes in programming that can be called by name. Additionally, it’s mostly identical to function which is passed to operate on a data and can sometimes return data. 

Additionally, a method is taken as an object oriented word for function. This is actually the reason why many people believe there’s no real difference between the two words. However, we have come across a number of these differences that we can share with you now.

These two words are the same but they are different terms. They serve the same purpose in mathematical and computer software but they are slightly different. 

1. Differences in Definition – a method is defined as a procedure that is used in object oriented programming. In general definitions, it’s regarded as a formula that one uses to solve a definite mathematical issue. A function on the other hand is a reusable code which is called anywhere in the program. In programming, the function reduces chances of having to write the same code repeatedly.

2. Function helps in writing modular codes in programming – The second difference is that a function is used in writing modular codes in programming unlike the use of methods. This is actually what sets the two words aside in computer programming. 

3. Method is a type of function – another clear difference between a method and a function is that a function is the primary concept. This shows that a method is a type of a function. This is one inevitably confusing explanation but when the value of a property is a function, it can simply be known as a method.

4. A function is a code called by name – In the programming world, a function is referred to as a code that is referred by its name. The functionality is that it can be passed data to operate on. Additionally, a function can return data.  On the other hand, a method is a piece of code that is associated with an object and it’s called by name.

5. A method is unreservedly passed on to the object which it’s associated with. As a matter of fact, a method is identical to a function only for this difference. 

6. A method can operate on data that is contained in that specific class. Just remember that a method is an instance of a class. This explanation is also what sets aside method and a function, a function and a method are identical except for this and the above differences.

7. Functions independently exist – This means that functions can be identified outside the class which is different from the methods. Additionally, functions are known to be self-describing units of code. On the other hand, methods don’t exist independently in the class. They are definitely defined with the class.

8. Functions unlike methods don’t have any reference variable – Here is another key difference between functions and methods. Unlike methods which are called using reference variable, functions don’t have any reference variable. Another thing is that methods are defined in object leaning languages such as Java, C#. Additionally, functions are defined in languages like C, Pascal and Object based languages with a good example of JavaScript. 

9. Methods are functions that belong to a class – the explanation here is that methods are referred to as a function only when they are in a class. In simple terms, all methods are functions. However, this doesn’t mean that all functions are methods. There are some exceptions in this case.

10. The examples are different – If you check some of the existing examples of a code or a function, you will realize that there are some simple differences between them. As a matter of fact, the statements in an example that have ‘’open’’ are methods but those with ‘’def’’ are functions. 

To get clearly what the two terms refers to, think of methods as things that only one entity can do. In the case of functions, these are things that more than one entity can do. 

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