[erlang-questions] Immutable isn't static Was: Re: Process scope variable

Jesper Louis Andersen jesper.louis.andersen@REDACTED
Fri Mar 13 14:33:41 CET 2015

On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 10:59 PM, Imants Cekusins <imantc@REDACTED> wrote:

> *Computing* (Of a process
> <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/process#process__3>
>  or variable
> <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/variable#variable__15>)
> notable
> <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/able#able__3> to be
> changed
> <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/change#change__3> during
> a set period,for example
> <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/example#example__15> while
> a program is running

Others have said it as well, but you should be wary of taking this
definition as fact. The words static and immutable are not well-defined in
computing in general, being used for various different things, depending on
what initial mind set you have. Often, the words are used to convey that
"something" is not subject to change, but precisely *what* that something
*is* varies. In other words, we are overloading the words and thus they
work badly for definitions now.

In theoretic computer science, the words doesn't even occur in most cases.
Rather, you let a logic system speak for itself, wave your hands a bit and
have people figure out what kind of static and/or immutable is meant for a
given logic system. This cleverly avoids having to define the details of
the word, since it is in the logical system. When you *do* use the word,
you painstakingly nail it to the wall to make sure you and everyone else
knows what is meant.

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