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Variables are denoted by identifers and implicitly defined upon first assignment. They take on a type through a type classifier or inherit it from the context in which they are first used, see MAL Type System.

Variables are organized into two classes: user defined and internal variables. User defined variables start with a letter and temporary variables, e.g. generated internally by optimizers, start with X_. In general internal variables cannot be used in MAL programs directly, but they may become visible in MAL program listings or during debugging.

MAL variables are internally represented by their position into the symbol table and runtime value stack.  Internal variable names  are recognized by the parser and an error is produced if their name does not align with the expected position in the symbol table.