I shouldn't pursue a saxon:assign solution. It's getting more and more difficult to keep this instruction working as the optimizer gets cleverer, and at some stage I will almost certainly give up the struggle.
This "too many nested calls" message is really just a polite way of reporting a StackOverflowError: it means that something is recursing too deeply (and that tail call optimization isn't dealing with it). Do you know how deep the recursion is?
If you can't make the recursive call tail-recursive, then the usual remedy is to try to find a way of doing it using divide-and-conquer recursion rather than head-tail recursion. I'd need to see the code to advise.
One thing that prevents tail-call optimization kicking in is dynamic type checking of template results. From previous specimens of your code, I think you're using "as" attributes on xsl:template quite extensively. It might be an idea to try removing these from the recursive templates to see what happens. (Hint: rename the attributes as xxx:as to comment them out, where xxx is some namespace). Alternatively, you could try replacing the recursive template by a recursive function - this is one area where templates and functions still behave a bit differently.
Michael Kay

From: saxon-help-admin@lists.sourceforge.net [mailto:saxon-help-admin@lists.sourceforge.net] On Behalf Of Alan Painter
Sent: 14 June 2005 15:59
To: saxon-help@lists.sourceforge.net
Subject: [saxon] Template recursion, StackOverflowError, saxon:while and variable assignability


I've been using Template recursion in order to iterate over the N instances
of a node in a big input document, each node creating a separate result-document.

Haven't had any problem to date, even with big files (100Mo) and around 100 output documents.

But I just ran into a case of "StackOverflowError":

SXLM0001: Too many nested apply-templates calls. The stylesheet is probably looping.

Sure, it's looping, but over the nodes that I need to output, not in error.

So I thought that I'd try the Saxon extensions that allow iteration, to wit the "saxon:while"
extension and the "saxon:assignable" attribute to xsl:variable, along with "saxon:assign".
I noticed that the 8.4 documentation says that "saxon:assign" may go away in the future.
However, in spite of repeated attempts and tweaks, I couldn't get saxon:assign to work:
my global variable remained a constant value:

    <xsl:variable name="tradePartCount"  as="xs:integer" select="count($tradeParts)"/>
    <xsl:variable name="topCurTradePart" select="0" saxon:assignable="yes" />

    <saxon:while test="$topCurTradePart lt $tradePartCount">
        <saxon:assign name="topCurTradePart" select="$topCurTradePart+1"/>
        <xsl:call-template name="makeATradePart"/>

Note: I tried both the "select" and "expr" attributes to saxon:assign.

So I'm in a corner and I'm curious what I should do:

-- Try to pursue the "saxon:assign" workaround, in the hopes of making it work
-- Modify a configuration (which?) in order to keep from having StackOverFlow exception in a normal recursion.

Thanks for pointers.