recursionlimit mystery!

Bruce Pokras bruceap at
Wed Jul 15 18:42:44 EDT 2015

I have an app called “Forward Citation Generator" that looks for so-called “forward citations” of a patent, i.e., patents that issue _after_ the target patent that cite the target patent. It looks for forward citations of the target patent, then looks for forward citations of that 1st generation of forward citations, and then looks for foward citations of the second generation of forward citations, etc. until it gets to the present day patents and there are no further forward citations. Sometimes that can be 18-20 generations. I started getting a “too much recursion” error with the default 400000, so I increased it to 20000000 and did not get the error again. It is mostly the 1st generation forward citations that are a measure of the importance of an invention. However, I decided “why stop there”?

I filed Bug Report 15602 on the inability to set the recursionlimit > 65535 via script.

> On Jul 14, 2015, at 10:35 PM, Richard Gaskin <Ambassador at> wrote:
> Bruce, I'm curious: what are you doing that requires so much recursion?
> -- 
> Richard Gaskin
> Fourth World Systems
> Software Design and Development for Desktop, Mobile, and Web
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