We have seen built-in functions and methods that take a variable number of arguments. It is possible to write user-defined functions with optional arguments, too. For example, here is a function that prints the most common words in a histogram
def print_most_common(hist, num=10): t = most_common(hist) print 'The most common words are:' for freq, word in t[:num]: print word, '\t', freq
The first parameter is required; the second is optional. The default value of
num is 10.
If you only provide one argument:
num gets the default value. If you provide two arguments:
num gets the value of the argument instead. In other words, the optional argument overrides the default value.
If a function has both required and optional parameters, all the required parameters have to come first, followed by the optional ones.