# Print argument of function that exceeds $RecursionLimit Is there a way to print the argument of a function which results in a $RecursionLimit::reclim error?

As an example, cosider the code

fib[n_] := If[n == 1, 1, n*fib[n - 1]];
fib[5]
(* 120 *)
fib[1023]
(* $RecursionLimit::reclim: Recursion depth of 1024 exceeded. *)  the ideal output should be something like 120 Recursion error for n=1023$RecursionLimit::reclim: Recursion depth of 1024 exceeded.

Any suggestions?

The function Check is what you are looking for.

fib[n_] :=
Check[If[n == 1, 1, n*fib[n - 1]], Print["n = ", n]; Abort[]]

Block[{$RecursionLimit = 20}, fib[25]] $RecursionLimit::reclim: Recursion depth of 20 exceeded. >>
n = 17

$Aborted  You also need to restrict the input to be a positive integer. Since you are basically defining the factorial function, I have renamed it to factorial rather than fib. factorial::argv = "The argument 1 is not a positive integer."; factorial[n_] /; If[ TrueQ[Element[n, Integers] && n > 0], True, Message[factorial::argv, n]; False] := Check[If[n == 1, 1, n*fib[n - 1]], StringForm[ "Recursion error for n = ", n],$RecursionLimit::reclim]

factorial[-5]


factorial::argv: The argument -5 is not a positive integer.

factorial[-5]

factorial[5]


120

factorial[1023]


\$RecursionLimit::reclim: Recursion depth of 1024 exceeded. >>

Recursion error for n = 1023

• Well, "fib" need not stand for "Fibonacci" (maybe that was the point of it being a fib). Commented Jul 3, 2014 at 15:25