proper tail calls

Brendan Eich brendan at
Sun Jan 20 20:01:45 PST 2008

On Jan 20, 2008, at 5:22 PM, Erik Arvidsson wrote:

> My concern with E (or A for that matter) is that it requires
> additional syntax.  I'd prefer if we could keep the syntax small.  I
> don't think implicit PTC is an issue.  It is an optimization that the
> interpreter/compiler should do.  What are the problems with I?  It
> does not change the semantics of the language.

Proper tails calls are not an optimization; they certainly do change  
semantics, insofar as you can't write certain programs without them  
being guaranteed. I'll defer to Dave's 2005 LtU comment (he may have  
newer ones he prefers),

which has useful links.


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