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I like local for two big uses: One, in unit testing, it's a cheap way to completely mock out a function within some scope. I know there's various test methods for that, but frankly local'ing a glob is so easy both to use and to make do exactly what I need that it's often still easier than even invoking the library.

Second, I love it for security-related stuff where I really don't want something to escape a scope. I have a value that represents the current user I am processing a request for, which is used for security checks, and by local'ing the variable in the context of the handler, I can be very confident that it absolutely, positively will not escape into the next request.

It also turns out to mean that if you're in a code base that has some unfortunate "global" variables, that local lets you turn them into much less "global" variables, as you can local them with confidence about how it won't escape out of scope. Of course, the better solution is to not do that, or to fix it, but we don't live in a perfect world....

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