functional programming

François Pinard pinard at
Tue Feb 22 20:59:10 CET 2000

bjorn <bjorn at> écrit:
> Moshe Zadka wrote:
> > On 22 Feb 2000, [ISO-8859-1] François Pinard wrote:

> > > What would be the advantages of using a "functional" Python, as per
> > > your definition?  I mean, of course, in practice?

> > None.  But it would be cool to have tail recursion [...]

Hmph!  This is not a good enough reason.  One coolness of Python is that
it does not implement "cool" things of doubtful use.

> [...] what is stopping us from implementing tail call optimization (of
> which tail recursion is just a special case) with the current Python
> implementation.

Optimising tail call recursion usually means turning it into an iteration.
In many cases, it would just as simple and clear to write iteratively.
Yet, there might be a few cases when tail recursion would yield more legible
writing.  As long as legibility is the main goal, it could be a good idea.

François Pinard

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