[MUSIC] So far, we've used local variables a lot, and we briefly introduced global variables. Well, there's a third kind of variable, the persistent variable. A persistent variable is a local variable, so it's only visible inside the function which is defined, but its value persists across function calls. In other words, MATLAB doesn't discard the value of a persistent variable when the function returns the way it does with a regular local variable. It keeps that value until the next call. This can be useful in a few special cases, for example, when we need to know how many times a function's been called. The only other way to do that would be to use a global variable, but it bears repeating that we're discouraging you from using global variables until you've gained a lot more experience. And even then, many times all you need is a persistent variable, and they don't cause the mischief that those sneaky global variables do. So let's see how to use persistent variables. Here's our first function that uses a persistent variable. His job is simply to keep adding up the value of its single input argument every time it's called, and it returns the total of the arguments entered so far. It's like a bank account that you add money to. Let's try it. Okay, we started by adding three, and the total in our bank account is three. Let's add five more. And let's put in ten, and you can do negatives. There, we took out $11. Oops, we're overdrawn. Anyway, the key to this function is the persistent variable, summa, here, which is declared using the persistent keyword right here, which shows up in blue, since it is a keyword. When a function is saved in the Editor, any persistent variables in it are initialized to the empty matrix. So we have yet another use for the if statement. We can use it to determine whether this is the first time the function has been called. If it is the first call, we set summa equal to the input argument n right here. We check if it's empty. We know it's the first call. Then we set summa equal to n. It's an error to declare a variable persistent that already exists in a current workspace. That's why we couldn't use the output argument total to store the value inside accumulate. We need to introduce the new variable, summa. It's clear that we could not accomplish what accumulate does with regular local variables since they're deleted every time a function returns. All persistent variables within a function can be reinitialized to the empty matrix in any of these three ways. By resaving the function in the Editor, by clearing the function with clear, we come over here and give the command clear accumulate like this or by exiting and restarting MATLAB. Let's see if that did reset summa to the empty matrix. If it did, then accumulates should start over from zero. Yes, it did. So now you know how persistent variables work. But you know what a persistent variable would be just perfect for? Remember when we were saying that maybe we should add an error message to multable that says, what part of positive integer do you not understand? You know, when the user keeps doing it wrong over and over? Well, we said we wouldn't do it because it would be mean, but now that we know how to count things with persistent variables, it's just too tempting. Let's try this version. It's called snarky multable, and it uses a persistent variable right here. It's called error count. We're going to let you study it on your own but let's try it out. We'll give a correct input, and it looks like it works just fine. And now let's give it some incorrect input. [NOISE] We gave it 3 minus 2 before. Well, that's what the non-snarky version did when we gave it a negative number. Let's try the fractional number. That's also the non-snarky response. Let's try that vector. Okay, now we're in snarky land. What part of positive integers do you not understand? The user has made three mistakes in a row. It calmly handles the first two errors and then unloads on the user on the third one. You can do this sort of thing, and it might be kind of satisfying, but we know better, don't we? We should be nice. Go ahead and look at this function to see how it works, there is a couple of interesting things in here. Here you see we've put an if statement all on one line by using a comma here. Here's an inline comment. Let's see down here we check if we've actually had three errors. That means we give this nasty error message here. We set the count back to zero to get started all over again. So the next error the user gets the non-snarky response. So you can do this. And you shouldn't though. Well, we'll end lesson five now. We should probably take a little time to wrestle with our consciences before we write another function [MUSIC]