I’m glad José posted the below in another thread as I was starting to get a little confused after hearing them being referred to as methods:
Methods are found in Object Orientated Programming (Elixir is a functional programming language), here’s how they differ courtesy of this Stack Overflow question:
A function is a piece of code that is called by name. It can be passed data to operate on (i.e. the parameters) and can optionally return data (the return value). All data that is passed to a function is explicitly passed.
A method is a piece of code that is called by a name that is associated with an object. In most respects it is identical to a function except for two key differences:
- A method is implicitly passed the object on which it was called.
- A method is able to operate on data that is contained within the class (remembering that an object is an instance of a class - the class is the definition, the object is an instance of that data).
(This is a simplified explanation, ignoring issues of scope etc.)
Hopefully this thread will help save someone else from falling into the trap of thinking of them as methods.