# FAQ: Recursion: Conceptual - Recursion Outline

This community-built FAQ covers the “Recursion Outline” exercise from the lesson “Recursion: Conceptual”.

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## FAQs on the exercise Recursion Outline

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Have I missed anything in my attempt to answer the questions at the end of this lesson?

# Where do the recursive and iterative approaches differ? What parts are similar?

Similarities

1. will continue to print a single letter whilst there is a letter to print
2. prints ‘all done’ when there are no more letters to print

Differences

1. for loop does not need to ‘ask’ for the result of a shorter version of name before it can print, whereas recursion does
2. recursion cannot begin printing until it gets the result of the base case

# How is it possible for a function to resolve if it refers to itself?

Eventually the function will trigger the base case and from there, can resolve each previous function call.

Hmmm I don’t know why this hasn’t been covered yet…

I’m hoping this gets covered in the friendly way everything else normally does but the Time Complexity… I assume its a chapter in “passing the technical” because I’m sure someone will hand out the question how long does your solution take or how long using xyz method take normally…

I think the only thing that I would add to this discussion is that a recursive v. iterative solutions have different time complexities. Recursion takes longer because your calling the function itself so the larger the size the longer the time. But I wonder for iterations… your loop could go on and on too. But I assume repetitive function calls in a recursive solution take much more time than loops cycles. Also the infinite loop problem of recursion vs. just exhausting memory with loops ??

I also view recursion as the self reliance approach aka recursion versus asking lots of questions via loops and iterations? Recursion be like No I got this…somewhere in here it is… And Iterations are like Are We There Yet? No ? Okay How Bout Now? No… What About Now? I don’t know why its got such a cartoonish set up in my mind but it does.

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Time Complexity is indeed discussed shortly down the line (which I’m assuming you found out already). Your example for Recursion/Iteration is perfect!

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Anyone figured out how to apply recursion to a String. The cheat sheet displays how to implement it onto integers but not sure how to apply it on Strings.

the psuedo code helped a little but my program kept failing. I’m using java but I think I can translate Python well enough to understand how to apply it in Java

I’m guessing it would be something like this:

def speller(my_string): if len(my_string) == 0: print("all done") return print(my_string[0]) speller(my_string[1:]) speller("test string")