This, a while back, was maybe my first hack using introspection that I perceived as "wow, this is just fun".
So, Tail Recursion is a feature on some functional Languages to allow a function that calls itself as its last statement and just returns the value of this last call to its original caller to have no state recorded on itself. All the states needed are passed down on itself on this recursive call. Thus, the systems resources does not have to keep track of all the states it is past while the function descends calling itself - it just has to return to the original caller.
For example, ina factorial function, the last statement might just be something like "factorial(n - 1, init = n)" where the "init" parameter would be used internally to modify the return value (and default to "1" so thatthe original caller would just all "factorial(n)".
So, that is not the way Pythn works. And, by default, Python never will, as you can see on this BDLF's post: http://neopythonic.blogspot.com/2009/04/tail-recursion-elimination.html (coincidence or not, that was posted two days before I originally got to my "Soft Tail Recursion Concept", as exposed here).
And, although, Python's "hardware" won't allow it, its introspective nature already allow us to do so, via decorators.
here is the idea: You wrap the too-be-tail-recursive function in an object that, when called, takes note of the thread it's running, the depth of the call, and the parameters used. It then calls the original function. If the function calls itself again, when the call is routed through the wrapper object, it will note the depth has increased. It then saves the latest parameters (which contain all the state that is needed to the completion of the task -however deep it is) - and return control to the outer level object - the one that was running before the first (wrapped) function call.
"Return control"? How can it do that? Not usually seeing as "black magic": it just raises an exception, that is captured on the outter execution frame. Since teh code runniong on that frame is on the same object that raised the exception, it does know the parameters to be used in the function call - just that this time around the function call happens at depth "0".
The example bellow is even thread-safe. The limitation is that the decoratro has no way to know if the decorated function is suitable to be used with this resource - note that any statements or expressions that would be run after the recursive call are simply ignored (and making arithmetic operations with the function return value are just that: an expression that is evaluated after the function call).