proper tail calls

Brendan Eich brendan at
Tue Jan 22 11:17:20 PST 2008

On Jan 22, 2008, at 11:03 AM, Neil Mix wrote:

> I also want to make clear: this isn't about debugging code that uses
> PTC intentionally -- that tradeoff is up to the developer.  This is
> about the novice coder who finds a stack trace on a production system
> from code that he doesn't own which just happens to be invoking PTC
> implicitly.

I've already copped to low expectations about current-era debuggers,  
and it is possible the same dismal view applies to logging traces, at  
least on my part. Having to deal with a stack backtrace where you  
(n00b or l33t, doesn't matter) have to hop around in 3, or 30, source  
files to see how the heck control flowed from function f to g when f  
doesn't call g, is Not Fun. The lack of stack traces in ECMA-262, and  
anything like Python's much better backtrace support in JS  
implementations, may be remedied, and then we'll all feel PTC pain.

But why won't we feel it, as trace-readers, just as much when the  
PTCs were explicit? This, I don't follow. The programmer and the  
debugger-driver are often very different people, in general skills,  
familiarity with the source at hand, etc.


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