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Ruby Ruby Basics Ruby Syntax Method Arguments

Hi! I get "stack level too deep" when I try to push def say(whatever) puts say("Ruby") whatever = "Ruby" end

I keep finding conflicting accounts of what this means online.

def say(whatever) 
  puts say("Ruby")
  whatever = "Ruby"

1 Answer

Jennifer Nordell
Jennifer Nordell
Treehouse Teacher

Hi there, sarah haddon! There's something called "recursion" going on here. Recursion happens when a function/method calls itself. To call a function/method you just need to give the name of the method and any arguments it needs.

On this line:

 puts say("Ruby")

That calls the method say(), but it's calling it from within the say() method. You have this scenario going on where you call the method from within the method which then calls itself again out into infinity. It's a little like standing between two mirrors that face each other and you can see infinite mirrors. Because the mirror is reflecting the mirror that is reflecting the mirror... etc.

This is what is meant by "max recursion depth". You've implemented something that is not really an infinite loop, but you have something that is calling itself and repeating out into infinity. Recursion can be useful in a handful of cases, but only when you can guarantee that it will stop at some point and before it eats up all of your memory or reaches the maximum recursion depth.

What you're looking for is something much simpler:

def say(whatever) # this is the name of the method and it takes a string 
  puts whatever  # this prints out whatever we send

say("Ruby") # call the method and send it the string "Ruby"

Hope this helps! :sparkles: