Oh, now you're suddenly concerned about languages. What has 'real hardware' (whatever that means) to do with it? And why would I have to memorize which compilers eliminate tail recursion? That's as useful as to memorize which compilers or languages exist. But rest assured that when I use a compiler and make use of tail recursion, I know whether it will eliminate it or not. Which is all I need to know.
This also goes back to my earlier comments about being blunt and forthright with code. Tail-recursion isn't natural in this case.
If you want to discuss specific cases, then be specific. I didn't argue that tail recursion was ok in this example. Tail recursion was bad in this example. But you extended it to make some general remarks about tail recursion, and that's where I disagree.
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