Re: [dev] Programming quotes.

From: Uriel <>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2009 00:30:09 +0200

Nice collection, I added some of them to my collection.

The C++ == octopus made by nailing extra legs to a dog is one of the
best quotes ever, and is in my C++ page together with many other
wonderful C++ quotes ;)

Oh, and the one about X being like calculating the square root of PI
using roman numerals is AFAIK attributed to Henry Spencer.



On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:46 PM, Kris Maglione<> wrote:
> 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
> cruftier.
>        --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
> little.
>        --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
> law.
>        --Eric Naggum
> Microsoft is not the answer.  Microsoft is the question.  NO is the
> answer.
>        --Eric Naggum
> Sufficiently advanced political correctness is indistinguishable from
> sarcasm.
>        --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.
>        --Unknown
> Programming X Windows is like trying to find the square root of Pi
> using roman numerals.
>        --Unknown
> 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 - 22:30:09 UTC

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