Iterative vs. Recursive coding

Ian hobson42 at
Sat Aug 21 14:03:56 CEST 2010

  On 21/08/2010 00:17, Ben Finney wrote:
> Steven D'Aprano<steve at>  writes:
>> On Thu, 19 Aug 2010 22:00:16 +0000, Martin Gregorie wrote:
>>> Recursion can be quite a trick to get your mind round at first
>> Really? Do people actually find the *concept* of recursion to be
>> tricky?
> Evidently so. It's folk wisdom that some adults find recursion an easy
> concept, and those people will find programming significantly easier;
> and the majority of people have a great deal of difficulty with
> recursion and so find programming correspondingly difficult.
> There is evidence that the phenomenon is at least significant and
> measurable<URL:>.
Eh? The cited abstract does not support your conjecture.

I am rather more taken with the mapper/packer contrast explained in

> There is all manner of speculation as to what might cause this divide in
> capability, but precious little scientific research has been done on the
> differences between such people AFAICT.
I agree about the lack of research. And while it is a given that some 
will be better than others,
I suspect that research into teaching and coaching methods and cultural 
expectations will
prove more fruitful that looking at differences between learners.



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