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tail call proposal [was: Re: tail recursion proposal]
From: "Guillermo J. Rozas" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 02:15:42 -0500
It all comes down to what you are used to and what you are not.
Does that make it any less a design trade-off? Or are you just making
my point for me? In CL, it actually matters to us what people come to
the table with because CL is design around the idea of enabling
programmers with what they know and how they think. Scheme tends to
assume that it is acceptable for many people come to the table with a
need to be retrained before they can make good use of the language
(even if it's the case that this retraining could have been done "in
advance" in order to hide the need for it :-). I'm not going to
quibble that point here--it's entirely reasonable for any language to
adopt a set of assumptions like that and go with them. But please at
least admit the possibility that a possible design theory is one that
takes advantage of preconceptions only arbitrarily present in the
population as a whole, and give other languages the same freedom as
you're allowing for yourself.
There are truths and there are necessary truths. This choice is not a
necessary truth and ought not be presented as such.
I repeat: I'm not asking for Scheme to change its theory of design,
only to acknowledge in a tiny way that this is not a universal truth
about the universe.
In general, it's easier to learn tolerance for a new idea than to
learn not to tolerate an idea one is already used to. In this
particular case, I'm asking you to learn tolerance for my idea because
I don't think it's fair for you to ask me not to tolerate my own
preference. I have indicated no lack of tolerance for your
preference--only a desire for you to acknowledge mine. I don't think
it will fundamentally harm Scheme programmers to learn a similar
tolerance. If you think otherwise, you only lend credence to my claim
that Scheme people often end up more hardline and intolerant than I
think they ought to be...