What does the %#mex pragma do?

When I create a MEX file in MATLAB, I'm in the habit of also creating a .m file with the same name, a function signature identical to the MEX file, and otherwise containing nothing but help text in the form of comments, that are then displayed when one types help myfcn.

When one does this, a small side-effect is that MATLAB Code Analyzer picks up on the fact that the input and output arguments specified in the function signature are unused, and flags them with an orange underline.

Recently I've discovered that several MathWorks internal functions follow something similar to this pattern, but also including the following line, separated by a blank line from the main help text:


This %#mex pragma appears to be undocumented (at least I can't find any reference to it). It would appear to be used to directly indicate that a .m file is intended only to provide help text for a MEX file. It has the effect of suppressing any Code Analyzer messages in the file.

Is anyone familiar with the intended use of the %#mex pragma? Does it have any other effects other suppressing Code Analyzer messages?


\toolbox\compiler\mcc.m \toolbox\images\images\private\ddist.m \toolbox\matlab\audiovideo\private\readavi.m \toolbox\matlab\imagesci\hdf.m \toolbox\matlab\sparfun\arpackc.m \toolbox\matlab\specgraph\private\ditherc.m


Apparently this was documented in older releases. Here is a page from the archived documentation going all the way back to version 3.0 of the MATLAB Compiler (circa MATLAB 6.5 R13):


This pragma informs the MATLAB Compiler to select the MEX-file over an existing M-file.

If you are using the %#function pragma to define functions that are not available in M-code, you should use the %#external pragma to define the function. For example:

function y = gamma(x) %#mex error('gamma MEX-file is missing');

Here is another related page that explains when this pragma is used:

It is now possible to call MEX-files from Compiler-generated stand-alone applications. The Compiler will compile MEX-files whenever they are specified on the command line or are located using the -h option to find helper functions. The MEX-files will then be loaded and called by the stand-alone code.

If an M-file and a MEX-file appear in the same directory and the M-file contains at least one function, the Compiler will compile the M-file instead of the MEX-file. If the MEX-file is desired instead, you must use the %#mex pragma. For more information on this pragma, see the %#mex reference page.

of course the MATLAB Compiler was a completely different product back then, capable of producing standalone C/C++ programs and MEX-files (no MCR dependency like today's version)

It seems that mlint still recognizes this pragma and completely excludes the M-file from analysis.


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