yigal yigal - 2 months ago 15
Python Question

is there any way to prevent side effects in python?

Is there any way to prevent side effects in python? For example, the following function has a side effect, is there any keyword or any other way to have the python complain about it?

def func_with_side_affect(a):
a.append('foo')

Answer

Python is really not set up to enforce prevention of side-effects. As some others have mentioned, you can try to deepcopy the data or use immutable types, but these still have corner cases that are tricky to catch, and it's just a ton more effort than it's worth.

Using a functional style in Python normally involves the programmer simply designing their functions to be functional. In other words, whenever you write a function, you write it in such a way that it doesn't mutate the arguments.

If you're calling someone else's function, then you have to make sure the data you are passing in either cannot be mutated, or you have to keep around a safe, untouched copy of the data yourself, that you keep away from that untrusted function.

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