6.12. Glossary

chatterbox function

A function which interacts with the user (using input or print) when it should not. Silent functions that just convert their input arguments into their output results are usually the most useful ones.

composition (of functions)

Calling one function from within the body of another, or using the return value of one function as an argument to the call of another.

dead code

Part of a program that can never be executed, often because it appears after a return statement.

fruitful function

A function that yields a return value instead of None.

incremental development

A program development plan intended to simplify debugging by adding and testing only a small amount of code at a time.


A special Python value. One use in Python is that it is returned by functions that do not execute a return statement with a return argument.

return value

The value provided as the result of a function call.


Code that is used during program development to assist with development and debugging. The unit test code that we added in this chapter are examples of scaffolding.

temporary variable

A variable used to store an intermediate value in a complex calculation.

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