Function[{u}, g[u]] 
Function[u, g[u]]

The documentation lists both variants without specifying the difference. Does the behavior differ in some circumstances?

  • 1
    No difference, just some flexibility in the syntax for single-variable functions – Michael E2 Oct 22 at 10:17

There is no functional difference between Function[{u}, g[u]] and Function[u, g[u]]. The following difference in speed is small but consistent on my machine (MacBook Pro):

foo = Range[5*10^6];
foo[[1]] = 1.;

Function[x, x] /@ foo; // RepeatedTiming
Function[{x}, x] /@ foo; // RepeatedTiming
  {2.4, Null}
  {2.0, Null}

It's a small difference compared to the execution time of more complicated function bodies.

Note on the example: The line foo[[1]] = 1. unpacks the array foo and prevents it from being packed. This in turn prevents the functions from being auto-compiled by Map (/@). If the functions are compiled, then all differences between them are erased.

  • Where is this autocompile feature of Map documented? (More than this.) – Alan Oct 22 at 13:10
  • 1
    @Alan If you want official documentation, it is also mentioned here but it is not fully documented AFAIK. If you want a more thorough albeit unofficial discussion, look for the auto-compilation section of this answer. – Michael E2 Oct 22 at 14:34

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