April 27th, 2009

device

I like a community with a sense of humor...

... which is probably part of why I am so enjoying learning Scala. There's a dry but persistent wry humor throughout the discussions there, albeit *very* much programmer humor.

Current example: I'm currently reading Programming in Scala, the bible of the language. (Not the formal spec, but essentially the K&R equivalent -- well worth buying an e-copy and reading, if you're into programming languages. It's a dense but remarkably neat language, and wonderfully pragmatic.)

Anyway, section 8.9 describes Scala's limited but decently powerful tail-recursion capabilities. And the very last paragraph, after several pages, says,
Thus, tail-call optimization is limited to situations in which a method or nested function calls itself directly as its last operation, without going through a function value or some other intermediary. (If you don’t fully understand tail recursion yet, see Section 8.9).
Which may be the best way I've ever seen to underscore the point...