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Any SML coders able to translate this to Python?

On Thu, 06 Sep 2018 13:48:54 +0300, Marko Rauhamaa wrote:

> Chris Angelico <rosuav at gmail.com>:
>> The request was to translate this into Python, not to slavishly imitate
>> every possible semantic difference even if it won't actually affect
>> behaviour.
> I trust Steven to be able to refactor the code into something more
> likable. His only tripping point was the meaning of the "let" construct.

Thanks for the vote of confidence :-) 

However I have a follow up question. Why the "let" construct in the first 
place? Is this just a matter of principle, "put everything in its own 
scope as a matter of precautionary code hygiene"? Because I can't see any 
advantage to the inner function:

>>>>    def isqrt(n):
>>>>        if n == 0:
>>>>            return 0
>>>>        else:
>>>>            def f2398478957(r):
>>>>                if n < (2*r+1)**2:
>>>>                    return 2*r
>>>>                else:
>>>>                    return 2*r+1
>>>>            return f2398478957(isqrt(n//4))

Sure, it ensures that r is in its own namespace. But why is that an 
advantage in a function so small? Perhaps its a SML functional-
programming thing.

Putting aside the observation that recursion may not be the best way to 
do this in Python, I don't think that the inner function is actually 
needed. We can just write:

def isqrt(n):
    if n == 0:
        return 0
        r = isqrt(n//4)
        if n < (2*r+1)**2:
            return 2*r
            return 2*r+1

By the way I got this from this paper:


Steven D'Aprano
"Ever since I learned about confirmation bias, I've been seeing
it everywhere." -- Jon Ronson