side effect

Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms for: side effect
side effect

an effect of a program or subprogram other than simply computing its output from its input. For example, this Java method swaps the two values in a two-element array, and also has the side effect of changing the global variable t:

Side effects are usually undesirable because they disrupt variables used by other parts of the program. If t were declared local, the side effect would not occur.

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