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Re: Hello XQuery ... Goodbye XSLT?

recursive function in xquery
On Tue, 2004-11-09 at 20:49, Rick Marshall wrote:

> > Are you suggesting that no standards organization should develop a 
> > language that uses recursion if most programmers don't find recursion 
> > easy?
> not at all. there's some algorithms that are just too hard to express 
> any other way, or too difficult to implement. all i'm saying is that 
> programmers (people actually) tend to think linearly, perhaps checking 
> out options. but it is not natural to think recursively so it is a 
> serious training issue. and i just don't see much evidence of recursive 
> thought training, even within colleges these days.

I'd say that programming in general is 'not natural'. Its  too darned
picky for most humans.

Having once seen the utility of recursive techniques though, its sure
hard not to use them, recognise the patterns where they are useful etc.
  I guess that presumes at least some familiarity with programming.

> what i am saying is that lack of understanding, and underutilisation of 
> the technique means that there will always be a tendency to replace the 
> more difficult to understand recursive expression with a, possibly less 
> functional, linear expression.

-1. If you've been exposed to it through functional languages, it
seems too useful to ignore.

> perhaps we could do an informal survey here and ask when was the last 
> time you wrote a recursive function? and how many non-recursive 
> functions to do you write for every recursive function? how many 
> recursive functions could you have used instead?

Not too useful, I only use the bus when I need to.
The beard trimmer when I need to.
 etc etc.

Regards DaveP.
XSLT&Docbook  FAQ


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