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Discussion on: Don’t pay the for-loop tax

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Dan Homola Author

Thank you for your comment. To your points:

Ad 1)
I think it is only a question of getting used to it, as you say :)

Ad 2)
I'm no JavaScript engines expert, but people seem to argue, that calling a function is expensive (I'm not so sure about this argument, however I can't disprove it) and for cycles can be optimised better (for example unrolled).

Ad 3)
It does not rely on Tail Calls, my argument was merely that map & co. do not necessarily need to be implemented using cycles but for example using recursion (that would indeed need proper tail calls to avoid stack overflow).

The reason I call it optimisation is my college professor in the Runtime systems course called it that. We implemented a garbage-collected byte code language there, in my case it was a subset of Scheme, and one of the requirements (if you chose functional language) was "infinite" recursion. You can handle tail calls naïvely and overflow the stack or properly recycle the stack frames and be able to run "forever". That's why even the compat-table calls it "proper tail calls (tail call optimisation)".

The important point here is that this is an optimisation of the runtime itself, not an optimisation of the program being run.

I hope this helps to clarify things :)