Expressions in generally used to perform calculations and construct values. Because Felix has a user defined grammar, there are many expression forms which reduce to function applications. In turn, since functions are not permitted side-effects, with some caveats expression forms can be regarded as referentially transparent.

The two main caveats are generators and impurity.

When an expression contains a direct generator application, it is lifted out of the expression: the application is replaced by a variable which is initialised before the expression is evaluated. After the lift and replacement, the remaining expression may be free of effects. However, generators have the same type as functions, so if the application is indirect, for example the application of a closure, Felix doesn’t know if it is a generator or function and may or may not lift it out.

Some functions may depend on variables and indeed, and expression can contain variables. Since the evaluation is side-effect free the variable cannot change during the evaluation of the expression. But it can change in a loop so that a subsequent evaluation returns a different result. Of course the most trivial case is when the expression is nothing more than a variable, such as a loop control variable, in which case we’d be surprised if the value didn’t change!