Software bugs aren't inevitable

Steven D'Aprano steve at
Thu Sep 15 13:56:06 CEST 2005

On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 12:23:00 -0700, Paul Rubin wrote:

> Steven D'Aprano <steve at> writes:
>> It is a "mere implementation detail" that (for most computer systems, and
>> most programming languages) stack space is at a premium and a deeply
>> recursive function can run out of stack space while the heap still has
>> lots of free memory.
> Every serious FP language implementation optimizes tail calls and thus
> using recursion instead of iteration doesn't cost any stack space and
> it probably generates the exact same machine code.

Are you saying that the recursion done by "serious" languages is a fake?
That it is actually implemented behind the scenes by iteration?

It seems to me that if recursion and iteration produce "the exact same
machine code", the argument for preferring recursion over iteration is


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