I agree with your post up until the point about tail recursion. Tail recursion is *easily* eliminated by reducing the recursion to a simple loop. This is much friendlier on your stack, and much more efficient! Other forms of recursion are harder to eliminate, but the refactoring of tail recursion is well known.
That being said, tail recursion often serves as as decent way to design an algorithm originally, but it should be eliminated when you get the chance.
In his case, assume the program is a "C" program implemented as a state machine that will run for years. Tail recursion would chew up a tremendous amount of stack and lead to program termination. Refactored as a simple while loop, the program would run forever.
This is one (not so rare) example where the reality of how a computer works oversteps the theory of basic "computer science". What appears to be logically equivalent is not once you put it on real hardware.
edit: darn, it looks like I'm turning into a CS professor now... run away! run away!
Posts are HTML formatted. Put <p> </p> tags around your paragraphs. Put <code> </code> tags around your code and data!
Read Where should I post X? if you're not absolutely sure you're posting in the right place.
Please read these before you post! —
Posts may use any of the Perl Monks Approved HTML tags:
Outside of code tags, you may need to use entities for some characters:
- a, abbr, b, big, blockquote, br, caption, center, col, colgroup, dd, del, div, dl, dt, em, font, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, hr, i, ins, li, ol, p, pre, readmore, small, span, spoiler, strike, strong, sub, sup, table, tbody, td, tfoot, th, thead, tr, tt, u, ul, wbr
Link using PerlMonks shortcuts! What shortcuts can I use for linking?
See Writeup Formatting Tips and other pages linked from there for more info.
| & || & |
| < || < |
| > || > |
| [ || [ |
| ] || ] ||