Lexical scoping (sometimes known as static scoping ) is a convention used with many programming languages that sets the scope (range of functionality) of a variable so that it may only be called (referenced) from within the block of code in which it is defined. The scope is determined when the code is compiled. A variable declared in this fashion is sometimes called a private variable.
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The opposite approach is known as dynamic scoping . Dynamic scoping creates variables that can be called from outside the block of code in which they are defined. A variable declared in this fashion is sometimes called a public variable.