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The following elisp code inserts hello world! 10 times:

-*- lexical-binding: t -*-
(dotimes (i 10) (insert "hello world!\n"))

If I byte-compile that code, I get the following message:

hellos.el:2:1:Warning: Unused lexical variable `i'

This is strange ... i is used to count from 0 to 9, even if it is not used in the repeated code. How am I supposed to loop 10 times ?!

Even stranger, the warning message disappears if I set

-*- lexical-binding: nil -*-

Go figure ...

Is this a bug (admittedly minor) in the emacs compiler? Is there a way to loop 10 times without using a counting variable?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

You don't use i and that's what the byte-compiler tells you. To let the byte-compiler know that you're aware of the fact that the variable is unused, give it a name that starts with an underscore. E.g.

(dotimes (_ 10) ...)


(dotimes (_i 10) ...)
share|improve this answer
Thanks !! BTW, why is the byte-compiler not complaining when lexical-binding is not set? – phs Feb 19 at 17:33
Because with dynamic scoping the byte compiler can't be sure that the variable is really not used (e.g. the insert function in your example could theoretically make use of it). – Stefan Feb 19 at 17:37

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