I have created a package that consists of a function which uses Compile. This function contains a parameter, say a, and I want to call the package in an notebook environment and define a in the notebook.

So far I define this parameter within the package as a=Global`a and I call the package with Get.

The problem is now that I want to initialize or load the package at the very beginning of my notebook and just later determine the value of a. In order that the function is compilable I need to reload the package a second time after assigning a value to a. Is it possible that the internal code in the package automatically takes over the value of a without calling it a second time in the notebook environment? I tried something like a:=Global`a but it does not seem to work.

What would be the common approach to such a problem.


Of course, I could initialize the parameter first, before I call the package. Though I wonder whether there is a solution if I do it the other way round.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you show us a minimal example? $\endgroup$
    – xzczd
    Jun 11, 2018 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ Side note: Passing information to a package via global variables somehow defeats the purpose making it a separate unit in the first place… Wouldn't something like a public variable within the package or even a "configure[…]" function be a better way to handle things? Of course, this alone doesn't fix the issue in the question $\endgroup$
    – Lukas Lang
    Jun 11, 2018 at 12:23
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    $\begingroup$ To give a meaningful answer, at least the outline how you defined the compiled function and where and how it uses the parameter a would really help. You don't need to include the whole definition of your compiled function, but it must be clear how you use the value of a inside your package. $\endgroup$
    – halirutan
    Jun 11, 2018 at 12:51
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    $\begingroup$ Passing a variable as a global variable to a CompiledFunction is a very bad idea because this will cause calls to the main evaluator which 1.) makes the compiled function slow and 2.) it makes parallelization of it impossible. Include a to the argument pattern of the compiled function and everything should work out fine. $\endgroup$ Jun 11, 2018 at 13:57

1 Answer 1


Are you perhaps groping toward partial evaluation? How about

generalFunc[a_]:=Compile[{b}, something containing a and b]

in your package. This defers compilation until you do something like:

specificFunc = generalFunc[2];

which substitutes 2 for a in your function and then compiles it, yielding a function only of b.


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