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[Caml-list] looping recursion
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Date: -- (:)
From: brogoff <brogoff@s...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] looping recursion
On Wed, 28 Jul 2004, Alex Baretta wrote:
> brogoff wrote:
> > Sometimes lists are best. If lists are OK for 100, 1_000, or 10_000 items,
> > why not 100_000 or 1_000_000? Map and friends shouldn't blow stack.
> >
> > -- Brian
>
> Actually, it's not that bad.

Well, I'm still on the caml-list, so of course it isn't *that* bad. Also, as
I said, if you need a tail recursive map over built in lists, you have at
least two options. Unfortunately, my preference is to use Obj, which IMO
points to a deficiency in the core language. Most, maybe all, of my issues
with OCaml, amount to petty complaints, no showstoppers or dealbreakers.
Hey, at least I'm not whining about the license!

> Sometimes I design an algorithm in terms of basic data structures, such
> as lists, and transformations applied through higher order iterators.
> Such "featurs" as the stack overflow in List.map or the Linux
> out-of-memory SIGKILL give me a clear indication of the simplemindedness
> of such algorithms and force me to rethink them in terms of more
> efficient structures and techniques, typically streams and laziness.

There are quite a few cases where singly linked lists are the most efficient
data structure, and they're just right for the problem. Streams and laziness
are  not at all efficient in comparison. Stack overflow commonly happens when
one of my users (yup, I have users of my code who aren't me ;-) decides to
run on data much larger than I'd anticipated.

Also, lists are builtin, and have syntactic support in OCaml, by which I mean
nice, easy to read syntax. So the language encourages you to use them.

-- Brian

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