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October 13, 2015

A Muggle's Guide to Tail Call Optimization

by Danny Guinther

Submitted for your approval: a circle of torment unchronicled by the poets of old, a terror at the heart of many a horror story: SystemStackError: stack level too deep Tremble no more! Conquer the well of eternity! Behold the secrets of tail recursion and tail call optimization in Ruby! Witness the metamorphosis of a simple function as we explore the hidden power of tail call optimization buried deep within the Ruby VM! Follow the transformation to the revelation of tail call optimization's most ghastly secret: in many ways it's really just a special type of loop construct! The horror!

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