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What determines what is assigned to Out[]?

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  • Subject: [mg80285] What determines what is assigned to Out[]?
  • From: "Andrew Moylan" <andrew.j.moylan at>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2007 07:20:45 -0400 (EDT)

All of the following result in % returning 1:


x = 1;

x = 1; x = Null;

Module[{}, x = 1;]

I am starting to see a pattern here. Can anyone explain the exact rule that
determines what gets assigned to the Out[] variable?

This is important because, for example, compare the following fairly
equivalent pieces of code:

Module[{}, m = RandomReal[1, 10000000]; flag = 1;]

Module[{}, flag = 1; m = RandomReal[1, 10000000];]

The former assigns 1 to Out[], whereas the latter assigns a roughly 80MB
lump of random reals to Out[]!

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