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Alan Perlis's Quotes

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Born: 1922-04-01
Profession: Scientist
Nation: American
Biography of Alan Perlis

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

Tags: Attitude, Measure, Programmer

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.

Tags: Education, Fun, Learning

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

Tags: Avoid, Fools, Ignore

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

Tags: Enough, God, Science

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

Tags: Makes, Often, Technology

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.

Tags: Alice, Best, Book

I think it is inevitable that people program poorly. Training will not substantially help matters. We have to learn to live with it.

Tags: Help, Technology, Training

If you have a procedure with 10 parameters, you probably missed some.

Tags: Missed, Parameters, Procedure

In computing, turning the obvious into the useful is a living definition of the word 'frustration'.

Tags: Computers, Living, Word

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.

Tags: Picture, Words, Worth

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

Tags: Attention, Language, Level

Computer Science is embarrassed by the computer.

Tags: Computer, Science

Don't have good ideas if you aren't willing to be responsible for them.

Tags: Good, Ideas, Willing

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

Tags: Another, Program, Written

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

Tags: Head, Him, Wake

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

Tags: Computer, Computers, English

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

Tags: English, Languages, Word

Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?

Tags: Else, Point, Whole

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

Tags: Change, Fit, Vice

It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.

Tags: Correct, Understand, Write

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

Tags: Cost, Lisp, Value

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

Tags: Another, Constant, Variable

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

Tags: Complexity, Follows, Simplicity

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress.

Tags: Change, Languages, Progress

The computing field is always in need of new cliches.

Tags: Cliches, Computing, Field

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

Tags: Ways, Works, Write

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Much more quotes by Alan Perlis below the page.

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

Tags: Programmer, Thoughts, Within

'Forbes' has championed entrepreneurism since its founding.

Tags: Forbes, Founding, Since

Not everyone can come and post on Forbes; it's a very distinguishing factor for us. We vet the folks who come on board.

Tags: Board, Everyone, Post

Our content carries the Forbes name, and our whole mantra is to put authoritative journalism at the center of the social media experience.

Tags: Experience, Put, Whole

The emergence of Casual Fridays has created a fine line of fashion ion dos and don'ts.

Tags: Fashion, Fine, Line

We'll have, by the end of 2013, 30 local language editions of Forbes, many of those are pioneers in the markets they serve with Forbes.com. We launched recently in Thailand and Vietnam, and we're in China and Korea and all around Latin America.

Tags: America, End, Language