Quotations

"Functional programming is an attitude, not a fashion style."

Don Stewart on his blog


``It is clearly an article of the New Faith that teaching the real thing would be counter-productive: just as our students are supposed to live on junk food, they are supposed to thrive on junk science.''

Edsger W. Dijkstra in Under the spell of Leibniz's Dream (EWD1298) [EWD index]


``In a concurrent world, imperative is the wrong default!''

[Tim Sweeney (of Epic Games). The Next Mainstream Programming Language: A Game Developer's Perspective. Invited talk at ACM SIGPLAN-SIGACT Principles of Programming Languages (POPL'06).]


``But beyond the prima-facie importance of pointers and recursion, their real value is that building big systems requires the kind of mental flexibility you get from learning about them, and the mental aptitude you need to avoid being weeded out of the courses in which they are taught.''

[Joel Spolsky in The Perils of JavaSchools]


``[..] we have come to the conclusion that programs in less expressive languages exhibit repeated occurrences of programming patterns, and that this pattern-oriented style is detrimental to the programming process.''

[Matthias Felleisen. On the Expressive Power of Programming Languages. Science of Computer Programming, 17(1-3), 1991.]


``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 in an interview.]


``Object-oriented programming offers a sustainable way to write spaghetti code.''

[Paul Graham in The Hundred-Year Language.]


What do you make of the increasing patenting of ideas in computing?
``It's terrifying. It's ridiculous and terrifying at the same time.''

[Robin Milner in an interview.]


``The combination of threads, remote-procedure-call interfaces and heavyweight object-oriented design is especially dangerous. Used sparingly and tastefully, any of these techniques can be valuable - but if you are ever invited onto a project that is supposed to feature all three, fleeing in terror might well be an appropriate reaction.''

[Eric S. Raymond in The Art Of Unix Programming.]


``There are those who view the patent system as the seedbed of capitalism--the place where ideas and new technologies are nurtured. This is a romantic myth.''

[Gary L. Reback in a Forbes article.]


``[T]he U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has all the trappings of a revenue-driven, institutionalized arms merchant.''

[Gary L. Reback in a Forbes article.]


``I don't think universities should be in the moneymaking business. They ought to be in the changing-the-world business, and open source is a great vehicle for changing the world.''

[Larry Smarr in a Salon article.]


``Digital files cannot be made uncopyable, any more than water can be made not wet.''

[Bruce Schneier in The Futility of Digital Copy Prevention.]


``The real civic obligation is to use free software.''

[Eben Moglen in an interview at IMMATERIAL.NET entitled ``The Encryption Wars''.]


``For ideas, fame is fortune. And nothing makes you famous faster than an audience willing to distribute your work for free.''

``Cyberspace is unreal estate. Relationships are its geology.''

[John Perry Barlow in a Wired article.]


``The Free Software community is an effective engine for driving early acceptance.''

[Bruce Perens in a /. post.]


``Bottom line is that Emacs + clever programmer will always crush a fancy commercial tool + weak programmer.''

[Philip Greenspun in his /. interview.]


``Computer science still seems to be looking for the magic bullet that will cause people to write correct programs without having to think. Instead, we need to teach people how to think.''

[Larry Wall in a IEEE Computer Cover Feature.]


``[...] software is largely a service industry operating under the persistent but unfounded delusion that it is a manufacturing industry.''

[Eric Raymond in The Magic Cauldron (#3 in ESR's CatB Trilogy).]


``Wrap the Internet around every brain on the planet and spin the planet. Software flows in the wires. It's an emergent property of human minds to create.''

[Moglen's Metaphorical Corollary to Faraday's Law.]


``We may all graduate with degrees in engineering, but getting a degree in engineering doesn't make you an engineer. It's the ticket to an exciting and rewarding carrier. Graduates who work on engineering projects become engineers (also known as nerds). Graduates who work on their careers become executives.''

[From This Cyberfarce Stars Elvis and the Nerds by Nick Tredennick, Computer 31(4), IEEE Computer Society, 1998.]


``The issue is not whether you are paranoid, look around you Lenny; the issue is, whether you are paranoid enough.''

[Says Max in the movie Strange Days]


``A third purpose of the programs in this book is to have fun. (Indeed, pleasure has probably the main goal all along. But I hesitate to admit it, because computer scientists want to maintain their image as hard-working individuals who deserve high salaries. Sooner or later society will realize that certain kinds of hard work are in fact admirable even though they are more fun than just about anything else.)''

[From The Stanford GraphBase by Donald E. Knuth]


``Mechanical Engineering is like looking for a black cat in a lighted room.
Chemical Engineering is like looking for a black cat in a dark room.
Software Engineering is like looking for a black cat in a dark room in which there is no cat.
Systems Engineering is like looking for a black cat in a dark room in which there is no cat and some one yells, "I got it!"''

[Origin unknown]


``If you think C++ is not overly complicated, just what is a protected abstract virtual base pure virtual private destructor, and when was the last time you needed it?''

[Tom Cargill, C++ Journal, Fall 1990]


``Adding object orientation to C is like adding air conditioning to a bicycle.''

[From The Case Against C by P.J. Moylan]


``We have long felt that programmers working on real-time control systems should have the privilege of taking the first ride on the operational prototype. In other words, if your code implements the life support systems on the space shuttle, then you get to be launched into space and debug any last minute glitches personally. This would surely bring a whole new focus to product quality.''

[From Expert C Programming--Deep C Secrets by Peter van der Linden]


``If poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world, science-fiction writers are its court jesters. We are Wise Fools who can leap, caper, utter prophecies, and scratch ourselves in public. We can play with Big Ideas because the garish motley of our pulp origins makes us seem harmless.''

[Written by Bruce Sterling in the Preface to Burning Chrome by William Gibson]


``You're the kind who always reads the handbook. Anything people build, any kind of technology, it's going to have some specific purpose. It's for doing something that somebody already understands. But if it's new technology, it'll open areas nobody's ever thought of before. You read the manual, man, and you won't play around with it, not the same way. And you get all funny when somebody else uses it to do something you never thought of.''

[From the shortstory The Winter Market in the collection Burning Chrome by William Gibson]


``Unix and C are the ultimate computer viruses.''

[From Lisp: Good News, Bad News, How to Win Big by Richard P. Gabriel, 1994]


``The more important question of whether or not systems like C++ and X-Windows cause actual permanent brain damage in humans, will have to wait for the autopsies of human brain doners. That won't be soon, since they're still only in the animal experimentation stages. But I think it's reprehensible how they're exposing all those poor innocent bunnies to shoddy static class libraries without garbage collection, and high doses of raw Motif.''

[From comp.lang.functional, ``Re: Effect of programming languages on thought'', Don Hopkins]


``In particular, the world is never loaded into a register, stored in a data structure, or passed to C procedure calls.''

[From Imperative functional programming by SL Peyton Jones & P Wadler]


``The C Programming Language -- A language which combines the flexibility of assembly language with the power of assembly language.''

[unknown origin]

• Copyright 2005 Manuel M T Chakravarty • Last modified: Thu Jul 6 14:37:37 EDT 2006