greg at cosc.canterbury.ac.nz
Fri Oct 3 10:04:47 CEST 2008
Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> "Side-effect" has the technical meaning in functional languages of any
> change of state that isn't the creation and return of a function result.
Actually, the term has that meaning for all programming
languages. The main distinguishing feature of functional
languages is that there are *no* side effects.
The confusing thing is that in everyday English the term
implies something bad or unwanted (e.g. side effects of
a drug). That's not necessarily true of the technical
meaning -- often the side effect is exactly what we want,
as in the case of "append".
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