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Alan Perlis Quotes

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Alan Perlis
April 1, 1922 - February 7, 1990
Nationality: American
Category: Scientist
Subcategory: American Scientist

A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God.


In software systems it is often the early bird that makes the worm.


If your computer speaks English, it was probably made in Japan.

    Topics: Computer

In English every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.


It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.


A picture is worth 10K words - but only those to describe the picture. Hardly any sets of 10K words can be adequately described with pictures.


You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing vitality of FORTRAN.


One man's constant is another man's variable.


LISP programmers know the value of everything and the cost of nothing.


Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it.


The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.


It goes against the grain of modern education to teach students to program. What fun is there to making plans, acquiring discipline, organizing thoughts, devoting attention to detail, and learning to be self critical.


Computer Science is embarrassed by the computer.


Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.


If a listener nods his head when you're explaining your program, wake him up.


A programming language is low level when its programs require attention to the irrelevant.


The computing field is always in need of new cliches.


We toast the Lisp programmer who pens his thoughts within nests of parentheses.


Every program has two purposes: The one for which it was written and another for which it wasn't.


There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.


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