Initializes global variables at compile time.


declare [[type]] symbol [[aop clist]]
  • type – optional. specifying the type of the symbol.

  • symbol – the name of the symbol being declared

  • aop (literal) –

    the type of assignment to be made. If aop is specified, clist must be also.


    if not initialized, initialize. If already initialized, reinitialize.


    if not initialized, initialize. If already initialized, reinitialize.


    if not initialized, initialize. If already initialized, redefinition error.


    if not initialized, initialize. If already initialized, leave as is.

  • clist (varies) – a list of constants to assign to symbol If aop clist is not specified, symbol is initialized as a scalar 0 or a null string.


declare matrix x,y,z;

After this code:

x = 0   y = 0   z = 0

Now declare a string:

declare string x = "This string.";

After this code:

x = "This string."

In this example we reinitialize the matrix x and set x to specified values:

** Re-initialize 'x' with the specified values and
** return a warning if 'x' already exists AND
** the 'Compile Options: declare warnings' is
** selected
declare matrix x != { 1 2 3, 4 5 6, 7 8 9 };

After this the x matrix is no longer zero and is filled with the specified values:

    1 2 3
x = 4 5 6
    7 8 9

Alternatively declare the x matrix dimensions and fill with values:

declare matrix x[3,3] = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9;

This yields the same results as the previous case:

    1 2 3
x = 4 5 6
    7 8 9

Now, fill a matrix of specific dimensions with a single value:

declare matrix x[3,3] = 1;
    1 1 1
x = 1 1 1
    1 1 1

If there is no value specified the matrix is filled with zeroes:

declare matrix x[3,3];
    0 0 0
x = 0 0 0
    0 0 0

The previous examples have been numeric matrices. This case will create a character matrix:

// Create a 2x1 character matrix
declare matrix x = alpha beta;

** To print character matrices, the '$' operator must
** be prepended to the variable name
print $x;

The code snippet directly above, produces:


Even if we include " when declaring the values in a matrix, it will create a character matrix:

** Since this is declared as a matrix, the text in
** quotes will create a character vector, rather
** than a string array
declare matrix x = "mean" "variance";

print $x;


mean variance

Structures can hold various members including scalars, arrays, matrices, strings, and string arrays, and other structures. The structure must first be defined before being declared:

struct mystruct {
  matrix m;
  string s;
  string array sa;
  array a;
  sparse matrix sm;

declare struct mystruct ms;

ms is a mystruct structure, with its members set as follows:


empty matrix


null string

1x1 string array containing a null string


1-dimensional array of length 1 containing 0

empty sparse matrix


The declare syntax is similar to the let statement.

declare generates no executable code. This is strictly for compile time initialization. The data on the right-hand side of the equal sign must be constants. No expressions or variables are allowed.

declare statements are intended for initialization of global variables that are used by procedures in a library system.

It is best to place declare statements in a separate file from procedure definitions. This will prevent redefinition errors when rerunning the same program without clearing your workspace.

The optional aop and clist arguments are allowed only for declaring matrices, strings, and string arrays. When you declare an N-dimensional array, sparse matrix, or structure, they will be initialized as follows:

Variable Type

Initializes to

N-dimensional array

1-dimensional array of size 1 containing 0

sparse matrix

empty sparse matrix


structure containing empty and/or zeroed out members.

Complex numbers can be entered by joining the real and imaginary parts with a sign (+ or -); there should be no spaces between the numbers and the sign. Numbers with no real part can be entered by appending an ‘i’ to the number.

There should be only one declaration for any symbol in a program. Multiple declarations of the same symbol should be considered a programming error. When GAUSS is looking through the library to reconcile a reference to a matrix or a string, it will quit looking as soon as a symbol with the correct name is found. If another symbol with the same name existed in another file, it would never be found. Only the first one in the search path would be available to programs.

Here are some of the possible uses of the three forms of declaration:

!=, =

Interactive programming or any situation where a global by the same name will probably be sitting in the symbol table when the file containing the declare statement is compiled. The symbol will be reset.

This allows mixing declare statements with the procedure definitions that reference the global matrices and strings or placing them in your main file.


Redefinition is treated as an error because you have probably just outsmarted yourself. This will keep you out of trouble because it won’t allow you to zap one symbol with another value that you didn’t know was getting mixed up in your program. You probably need to rename one of them.

You need to place declare statements in a separate file from the rest of your program and procedure definitions.


Interactive programming where some global defaults were set when you started and you don’t want them reset for each successive run even if the file containing the declare’s gets recompiled. This can get you into trouble if you are not careful.

The declare statement warning level is a compile option. Call config() in the command line version of GAUSS or select Tools > Preferences > Advanced in the User Interface to edit this option. If declare warnings are on, you will be warned whenever a declare statement encounters a symbol that is already initialized. Here’s what happens when you declare a symbol that is already initialized when declare warnings are turned on:

declare !=

Reinitialize and warn.

declare :=

End program with fatal error

declare ?=

Leave as is and warn.

If declare warnings are off, no warnings are given for the != and ?= cases.

See also

Functions let, external