created: 06/10/02; small corrections: 11/30/02, 07/05/03, 04/24/23; audio: 02/14/04; revised 05/27/15, 04/10/16, 04/14/2021

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CHAPTER 26 — Simple Subroutine Linkage

All high level languages have the concept of a subroutine (sometimes called procedure, function, or method). A subroutine is a logical division of the code that may be regarded as a self-contained operation. For example, the sine function is usually implemented as a subroutine. It can be regarded as an operation that can be used as needed in a program.

This chapter looks at a simple implementation in assembly language of this idea. The simple implementation is not adequate for the full power of subroutines (as implemented in high level languages), but is a good starting point. It corresponds to the type of subroutines implemented in the early days of programming.

Chapter Topics:

The two chapters after this one discuss subroutine call methods that are similar to those of modern languages.


(Review: ) What instructions unconditionally transfer control from one address to another?

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