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Error: Variable x is read only

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A global variable cannot be reassigned. It will always point to the same object. However, its content might change, if the value is mutable (for example, the content of a list). Local variables don't have this restriction.

a = [1, 2]

a[1] = 3

b = 3

b = 4  # forbidden

ERROR: /path/ext.bzl:7:1: Variable b is read only

You will get a similar error if you try to redefine a function (function overloading is not supported), for example:

def foo(x): return x + 1

def foo(x, y): return x + y  # forbidden