arnodel at googlemail.com
Mon May 4 14:51:03 EDT 2009
bearophileHUGS at lycos.com writes:
> Steve Howell:
>>two methods with almost identical names, where one function is the
>>public interface and then another method that does most of the
> Thanks Guido & Walter both Python and D support nested functions, so
> in such situations I put the recursive function inside the "public
> interface" function/method.
Yes, this is a common idiom for me:
def public_function(a, b):
E.g, to continue with the factorial toy example (of course for this
particular example and in this particular language, a loop would be more
def rec(n, acc):
if n <= 1:
return rec(n - 1, n*acc)
return rec(n, 1)
This is tail recursive, but Python does not optimise tail-calls so there
is not much point.
> Recursion is a high-level way to represent certain kinds of algorithms
> in a short and readable way (when data structures are nested, the most
> natural algorithms that work on them are recursive). But in Python
> function calls are slow, the maximum level of nested calls is limited
> (and it can't grow too much), so this has sometimes forced me to
> manually convert recursive functions into iterative ones with a stack.
> This is silly for a supposed high-level language. The bad support for
> recursivity is one of the few faults of Python.
Bearophile, there is a thread on python-ideas about tail-call
optimization at the moment.
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