Re: [dev] Programming quotes.

From: Kris Maglione <>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 15:46:38 -0400

On Wed, Jul 01, 2009 at 02:41:04PM +0200, Uriel wrote:
>lets use this thread to post your favorite programming quotes.

C++: an octopus made by nailing extra legs onto a dog.

The key to performance is elegance, not battalions of special cases.
        --Jon Bentley and Doug McIlroy

It's a curious thing about our industry: not only do we not learn from
our mistakes, we also don't learn from our successes.
        --Keith Braithwaite

For a long time it puzzled me how something so expensive, so leading
edge, could be so useless, and then it occurred to me that a computer
is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things,
while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do
incredibly stupid things. They are, in short, a perfect match.
        --Bill Bryson

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to
build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying
to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
        --Rich Cook

I'm confident that tomorrow's Unix will look like today's Unix, only
        --Russ Cox

Just because the standard provides a cliff in front of you, you are
not necessarily required to jump off it.
        --Norman Diamond

Are you quite sure that all those bells and whistles, all those
wonderful facilities of your so called powerful programming languages,
belong to the solution set rather than the problem set?
        --Edsger W. Dijkstra

Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring
aircraft building progress by weight.
        --Bill Gates

Beauty is more important in computing than anywhere else in technology
because software is so complicated. Beauty is the ultimate defence
against complexity.
        --David Gelernter

The object-oriented model makes it easy to build up programs by
accretion. What this often means, in practice, is that it provides a
structured way to write spaghetti code.
        --Paul Graham

Get and set methods are evil.
        --Allen Holub

First, solve the problem. Then, write the code.
        --John Johnson

Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with
millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural
integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves.
        --Alan Kay

Simple things should be simple. Complex things should be possible.
        --Alan Kay

We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time:
premature optimization is the root of all evil.
        --Donald Knuth

Organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs
which are copies of the communication structures of these
organizations. (For example, if you have four groups working on a
compiler, you’ll get a 4-pass compiler)
        --Conway’s Law

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple,
and wrong.
        --H. L. Mencken

        (Yes, this is related to programming, whether or not it
         was meant to)

Correctness is clearly the prime quality. If a system does not do
what it is supposed to do, then everything else about it matters
        --Bertrand Meyer

For the time being, programming is a consumer job, assembly line
coding is the norm, and what little exciting stuff is being performed
is not going to make it compared to the mass-marketed crap sold by
those who think they can surf on the previous half-century's worth of
inventions forever.
        --Eric Naggum

Intellectual laziness is punishable by brain death. It is a natural
        --Eric Naggum

Microsoft is not the answer. Microsoft is the question. NO is the
        --Eric Naggum

Sufficiently advanced political correctness is indistinguishable from
        --Eric Naggum

Complexity kills. It sucks the life out of developers, it makes
products difficult to plan, build and test, it introduces security
challenges and it causes end-user and administrator frustration.
        --Ray Ozzie

Every program has (at least) two purposes: the one for which it was
written, and another for which it wasn't.
        --Alan J. Perlis

If the designers of X Windows built cars, there would be no fewer than
five steering wheels hidden about the cockpit, none of which followed
the same principles – but you’d be able to shift gears with your car
stereo. Useful feature that.
        --Marcus J. Ranum, DEC

        (Oh, we *love* this one!)

A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program
in than some that do.
        --Dennis M. Ritchie

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the
intelligent full of doubt.
        --Bertrand Russell

Deleted code is debugged code.
        --Jeff Sickel

Mostly, when you see programmers, they aren't doing anything. One of
the attractive things about programmers is that you cannot tell
whether or not they are working simply by looking at them. Very often
they're sitting there seemingly drinking coffee and gossiping, or just
staring into space. What the programmer is trying to do is get a
handle on all the individual and unrelated ideas that are scampering
around in his head.
        --Charles M. Strauss

Haskell is faster than C++, more concise than Perl, more regular than
Python, more flexible than Ruby, more typeful than C#, more robust
than Java, and has absolutely nothing in common with PHP.
        --Autrijus Tang

        (We all hate PHP here, don't we? (dissenters best not
         speak lest they provoke a harsh tirade))

You can't trust code that you did not totally create yourself.
        --Ken Thompson

Saying that Java is good because it works on all platforms is like
saying anal sex is good because it works on all genders.

Programming X Windows is like trying to find the square root of Pi
using roman numerals.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
        --Leonardo da Vinci

Increasingly, people seem to misinterpret complexity as
sophistication, which is baffling---the incomprehensible should cause
suspicion rather than admiration. Possibly this trend results from a
mistaken belief that using a somewhat mysterious device confers an
aura of power on the user.
        --Niklaus Wirth

Kris Maglione
For a sucessful technology, honesty must take precedence over public
relations for nature cannot be fooled.
	--Richard Feynman
Received on Wed Jul 01 2009 - 19:46:38 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Wed Jul 01 2009 - 20:24:01 UTC