Iterative vs. Recursive coding

Ian hobson42 at gmaiil.com
Sat Aug 21 14:25:53 CEST 2010


  On 21/08/2010 01:24, Martin Gregorie wrote:
> On Fri, 20 Aug 2010 16:22:44 -0700, Baba wrote:
>
>> >  For the purposes of learning programming i think it's a must to
>> >  understand Recursion so thanks all for your help!
>> >
> That depends on the language and/or hardware. COBOL wouldn't understand
> recursion if hit on the head with a recursion brick and early computer
> hardware (those without a stack) made it VERY hard work. If you don't
> follow this, look at the CODASYL language specification for COBOL or the
> hardware design of ICL 1900 or IBM System/360 mainframes (which are still
> the heart of the financial world) and work out how to implement a
> recursive function for any of them. Its not easy but it can be done.
>
That takes me back to Spring 1976 and my first program that wasn't a 
print or a validate!
(I had 9 months programming experience!).

It was a costing program for a huge Bill of Materials - ideal for 
recursion.  It was a re-write
(with extra functionality) from PLAN (the 1900's assembler) to COBOL 
ready for a hardware
migration.  You are right. Recursion on the 1904 in COBOL was hard work!

The result however was a great success - the new program did more than 
the old, ran faster,
was many fewer source lines and was easier to test, so it was really 
profitable to write - and
the customer was delighted.  :)

Regards

Ian





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