Pithy programming Quotations

Discussion in 'Java' started by Roedy Green, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Roedy Green

    Roedy Green Guest

    I am collecting pithy programming quotations to display at random on
    the footers of the Java glossary. Do you have any favourites that
    should be included? Feel free to submit ones you composed yourself
    you think would be useful/inspiring to fledgling programmers. Here's
    your chance at immortality.


    Here is what I have so far:


    “First we thought the PC was a calculator. Then we found out how to
    turn numbers into letters with ASCII — and we thought it was a
    typewriter. Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a
    television. With the World Wide Web, we’ve realized it’s a brochure.”
    ~ Douglas Adams (born: 1952-03-11 died: 2001-05-11 at age: 49)

    “The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing
    that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot
    possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to
    get at or repair.”
    ~ Douglas Adams (born: 1952-03-11 died: 2001-05-11 at age: 49)

    “Besides a mathematical inclination, an exceptionally good mastery of
    one’s native tongue is the most vital asset of a competent
    programmer.”
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)

    “How do we convince people that in programming simplicity and clarity
    — in short: what mathematicians call elegance — are not a dispensable
    luxury, but a crucial matter that decides between success and
    failure?”
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)

    “If you want more effective programmers, you will discover that they
    should not waste their time debugging, they should not introduce the
    bugs to start with.”
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)

    “In the good old days physicists repeated each other’s experiments,
    just to be sure. Today they stick to FORTRAN, so that they can share
    each other's programs, bugs included.”
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)

    “It is not the task of the University to offer what society asks for,
    but to give what society needs.”
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)

    “It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students
    that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they
    are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration.”
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)


    In particular, he is talking about Bill Gates.
    “Simplicity is a great virtue but it requires hard work to achieve it
    and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse: complexity
    sells better.”
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)

    “Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability,”
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)

    “Testing shows the presence, not the absence of bugs.”
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)

    “The question of whether Machines Can Think… is about as relevant as
    the question of whether Submarines Can Swim.”
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)

    “We must be very careful when we give advice to younger people:
    sometimes they follow it!”
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    “Write a paper promising salvation, make it a structured something or
    a virtual something, or abstract, distributed or higher-order or
    applicative and you can almost be certain of having started a new
    cult.”
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)

    “If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”
    ~ Albert Einstein (born: 1879-03-14 died: 1955-04-18 at age: 76)

    “Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
    ~ George Eliot (born: 1819-11-22 died: 1880-12-22 at age: 61) (Mary
    Ann Evans)

    “A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing
    before.”
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (born: 1803-05-25 died: 1882-04-27 at age: 78)

    “Always do what you are afraid to do.”
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (born: 1803-05-25 died: 1882-04-27 at age: 78)

    “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path
    and leave a trail.”
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (born: 1803-05-25 died: 1882-04-27 at age: 78)

    “Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an
    experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (born: 1803-05-25 died: 1882-04-27 at age: 78)

    “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.”
    ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (born: 1803-05-25 died: 1882-04-27 at age: 78)

    “Don’t worry about where you are. Watch the first derivative.”
    translation:
    “Don’t worry about how things are. Watch where they are headed.”
    ~ Fred Green (born: 1913-07-12 died: 1992-04-10 at age: 78) (my Dad,
    an electrical engineer)

    “I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more
    surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that
    the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we
    can suppose.”
    ~ J.B.S. Haldane (born: 1892-11-05 died: 1964-12-01 at age: 72)

    “If builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, then
    the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.”
    ~ Weinberg’s Second Law (born: 1933 age: 76)

    “New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any
    other reason but because they are not already common.”
    ~ John Locke (born: 1632-08-29 died: 1704-10-28 at age: 72) 1795-04-20
    “To prejudge other men’s notions before we have looked into them is
    not to show their darkness but to put out our own eye.”
    ~ John Locke (born: 1632-08-29 died: 1704-10-28 at age: 72) 1795-04-20
    “Almost all programming can be viewed as an exercise in caching.”
    ~ Terje Mathisen
    “Whenever a new discovery is reported to the world, they say first,
    ‘It is probably not true,’ Then after, when the truth of the new
    proposition has been demonstrated beyond question, they say, ‘Yes, it
    may be true, but it is not important.’ Finally, when sufficient time
    has elapsed to fully evidence its importance, they say, ‘Yes, surely
    it is important, but it is no longer new.’”
    ~ Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (born: 1533 died: 1592 at age: 59)

    “When you encounter obstacles, you know what you are doing is
    important.”
    ~ Gottfried Johannes Müller (born: 1914-04-10 age: 95)

    “I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to
    have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting
    myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell
    than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered
    before me.”
    ~ Sir Isaac Newton (born: 1642-12-25 died: 1727-03-20 at age: 84)

    “I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now
    and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary,
    whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
    ~ Isaac Newton (born: 1643-01-04 died: 1727-03-31 at age: 84)

    “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one
    that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”
    ~ George Orwell (born: 1903-06-25 died: 1950-01-21 at age: 46)

    “Never discourage anyone… who continually makes progress, no matter
    how slow.”
    ~ Plato (born: 428 BC died: 348 BC at age: 80)

    “Enter any 11-digit prime number to continue.”
    ~ Linux prompt

    “There is no end to what can be accomplished if you don’t care who
    gets the credit.”
    ~ Art Rennison

    “If you don’t constantly refactor and improve your code as you
    maintain it, it will deteriorate.”
    ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 61)

    “If you want to serve your species, you must be willing to fail.
    People who want personal glory pursue safe mainstream success. But the
    most valuable discoveries are off the beaten track, and most of that
    prospecting will not pan out. There is no glory for all by a handful
    of those who devote themselves to this most valuable exploration.”
    ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 61)

    “It is too obvious to mention, but… If there are several different
    ways of doing something, one of them is probably noticeably better. If
    you do something more than once a day, it is probably worth a little
    experiment and a few moments contemplating the advantages and
    disadvantages of doing it each way. Then you can put your choice on
    automatic.”
    ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 61)

    “Only Apple has such marketing cachet that they can release a device
    who primary effect is to make the user go deaf, and it is hailed as
    the innovation of the century.”
    ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 61)

    “When a rat philosopher heads down a tunnel and finds no cheese, he
    does not say to himself ‘Rats! I failed’. He says, ‘I have learned
    something. I now know one more place where the cheese isn’t.”
    ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 61)

    “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed.
    Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being
    self-evident.”
    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer (born: 1788-02-22 died: 1860-09-21 at age: 72)

    “All evolution in thought and conduct must at first appear as heresy
    and misconduct.”
    ~ George Bernard Shaw (born: 1856-07-26 died: 1950-11-02 at age: 94)

    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
    persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all
    progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
    ~ George Bernard Shaw (born: 1856-07-26 died: 1950-11-02 at age: 94)

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary
    depends upon his not understanding it.”
    ~ Upton Sinclair (born: 1878-09-20 died: 1968-11-25 at age: 90)

    “Every invention creates new needs, but the biggest needs are not for
    new and more advanced versions of the last invention but for solutions
    to the social problems the last invention created.”
    ~ Philip Slater (born: 1927 age: 82)

    “Motors make noise, and that tells you about the feelings and
    attitudes that went into it. Something was more important than sensory
    pleasure — nobody would invent a chair or dish that smelled bad or
    that made horrible noises — why were motors invented noisy? How could
    they possibly be considered complete or successful inventions with
    this glaring defect? Unless, of course, the aggressive, hostile,
    assaultive sound actually served to express some impulse of the
    owner.”
    ~ Philip Slater (born: 1927 age: 82), The Wayward Gate: Science and
    the Supernatural

    “I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief
    sentences. That is the way to write English — it is the modern way and
    the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity
    creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean
    utterly, but kill most of them — then the rest will be valuable. They
    weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are
    wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit,
    once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get.”
    ~ Mark Twain (born: 1835-11-30 died: 1910-04-21 at age: 74)

    “Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who
    are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
    ~ Mark Twain (born: 1835-11-30 died: 1910-04-21 at age: 74)

    “Nothing has really happened until it has been recorded.”
    ~ Virginia Woolf (born: 1882-01-25 died: 1941-03-28 at age: 59)

    “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
    ~ Frank Zappa (born: 1940-12-21 died: 1993-12-04 at age: 52)




    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    http://mindprod.com

    "We must be very careful when we give advice to younger people: sometimes
    they follow it!"
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra, born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72
     
    Roedy Green, Aug 8, 2009
    #1
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  2. Roedy Green

    Roedy Green Guest

    some pearls from Donald Knuth

    “A list is only as strong as its weakest link.”
    ~ Donald Knuth (born: 1938-01-10 age: 71)

    “Always remember, however, that there’s usually a simpler and better
    way to do something than the first way that pops into your head.”
    ~ Donald Knuth (born: 1938-01-10 age: 71)

    “Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not
    tried it.”
    ~ Donald Knuth (born: 1938-01-10 age: 71)

    “I decry the current tendency to seek patents on algorithms. There are
    better ways to earn a living than to prevent other people from making
    use of one’s contributions to computer science.”
    ~ Donald Knuth (born: 1938-01-10 age: 71)

    “Let us change our traditional attitude to the construction of
    programs. Instead of imagining that our main task is to instruct a
    computer what to do, let us concentrate rather on explaining to human
    beings what we want a computer to do.”
    ~ Donald Knuth (born: 1938-01-10 age: 71)

    “Premature optimization is the root of all evil.”
    ~ Donald Knuth (born: 1938-01-10 age: 71),

    Unfortunately, some have misread this quotation as optimisation is in
    itself evil, or even that is it wicked to consider speed when choosing
    an algorithm.


    “Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer.
    Art is everything else we do.”
    ~ Donald Knuth (born: 1938-01-10 age: 71)

    “The process of preparing programs for a digital computer is
    especially attractive, not only because it can economically and
    scientifically rewarding, but also because it can be an aesthetic
    experience much like composing poetry or music.”
    ~ Donald Knuth (born: 1938-01-10 age: 71)
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    http://mindprod.com

    "We must be very careful when we give advice to younger people: sometimes
    they follow it!"
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra, born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72
     
    Roedy Green, Aug 8, 2009
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Roedy Green

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Sat, 08 Aug 2009 06:51:51 -0700, Roedy Green
    <> wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted
    someone who said :


    >Here is what I have so far:


    “A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive
    a human into believing that it was human.”
    ~ Alan Turing (born: 1912-06-23 died: 1954-06-07 at age: 41)

    “In the time of Galileo it was argued that the texts, ‘And the sun
    stood still… and hasted not to go down about a whole day’ Joshua 10:13
    and ‘He laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not move at
    any time’ Psalms 104:5 were an adequate refutation of the Copernican
    theory.”
    ~ Alan Turing (born: 1912-06-23 died: 1954-06-07 at age: 41)

    “Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.”
    ~ Alan Turing (born: 1912-06-23 died: 1954-06-07 at age: 41)
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    http://mindprod.com

    "We must be very careful when we give advice to younger people: sometimes
    they follow it!"
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra, born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72
     
    Roedy Green, Aug 8, 2009
    #3
  4. Roedy Green wrote:
    > I am collecting pithy programming quotations to display at random on
    > the footers of the Java glossary. Do you have any favourites that
    > should be included? Feel free to submit ones you composed yourself
    > you think would be useful/inspiring to fledgling programmers. Here's
    > your chance at immortality.
    >
    >

    If I have seen further than others, it is because I stand on the
    shoulders of giants. - Isaac Newton

    Stupidity is the only natural capital offense - Unknown

    Jeff Coffield
     
    Jeffrey H. Coffield, Aug 8, 2009
    #4
  5. "Everyone generalizes from one example. At least, I do." -- Steven
    Brust.
     
    Mike Schilling, Aug 8, 2009
    #5
  6. rossum wrote:
    > On Sat, 08 Aug 2009 06:51:51 -0700, Roedy Green
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> I am collecting pithy programming quotations to display at random
    >> on
    >> the footers of the Java glossary.

    > "Real programmers can write FORTRAN in any language." - Anon
    >



    It's a garbled version of

    Besides, the determined Real Programmer can write Fortran programs
    in any language.

    from this masterpiece:
    http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/real.programmers.html
     
    Mike Schilling, Aug 8, 2009
    #6
  7. Roedy Green wrote:
    > “Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not
    > tried it.”
    > ~ Donald Knuth (born: 1938-01-10 age: 71)


    Hmm, I never heard that one before ;-)

    Another Knuth quote:
    "Any inaccuracies in this index may be explained by the fact that it has
    been prepared with the help of a computer." -- Back of the index, TAoCP,
    Volume 1, Edition 1, 2nd printing. Yes, the copy I hold in my hands is
    older than I.

    If you want to get a large list of quotations, go through a copy of
    /usr/share/games/fortunes/computers. Some ones that I like that begin
    with `A':
    [All of these are directly copied from the fortune database. I cannot
    vouch for the accuracy of quote or attribution.]

    A debugged program is one for which you have not yet found the
    conditions that make it fail.
    -- Jerry Ogdin
    A language that doesn't have everything is actually easier to program
    in than some that do.
    -- Dennis M. Ritchie

    A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work
    by being declared to work.
    -- Anatol Holt
    A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing.
    -- Alan Perlis

    A successful [software] tool is one that was used to do something
    undreamed of by its author.
    -- S. C. Johnson

    About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a
    blunt ax. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.
    -- Edsger Dijkstra

    All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that
    the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if
    you can't get them together again, there must be a reason. By all
    means, do not use a hammer.
    -- IBM maintenance manual, 1925

    Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.
    -- Rich Kulawiec
    [ You might also like "Any sufficiently advanced form of technology is
    indistinguishable from magic," but I don't recall who said it ]

    Around computers it is difficult to find the correct unit of time to
    measure progress. Some cathedrals took a century to complete. Can you
    imagine the grandeur and scope of a program that would take as long?
    -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

    As part of the conversion, computer specialists rewrote 1,500 programs;
    a process that traditionally requires some debugging.
    -- USA Today, referring to the Internal Revenue Service
    conversion to a new computer system.
    --
    Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not
    tried it. -- Donald E. Knuth
     
    Joshua Cranmer, Aug 8, 2009
    #7
  8. Joshua Cranmer wrote:
    > [ You might also like "Any sufficiently advanced form of technology
    > is
    > indistinguishable from magic," but I don't recall who said it ]


    Arthur C. Clarke. It's the third of his three laws.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke's_three_laws
     
    Mike Schilling, Aug 8, 2009
    #8
  9. Roedy Green

    Eric Sosman Guest

    Roedy Green wrote:
    > I am collecting pithy programming quotations to display at random on
    > the footers of the Java glossary. Do you have any favourites that
    > should be included?


    Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate.
    -- Durante degli Alighieri, ca. 1265 - 1385

    --
    Eric Sosman
    lid
     
    Eric Sosman, Aug 8, 2009
    #9
  10. Roedy Green

    Karl Uppiano Guest

    This is my personal favorite, and I live it every day in code that I write,
    and in code that I maintain:

    There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it
    so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to
    make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first
    method is far more difficult.
    -- C.A.R. Hoare

    He has lots of these: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/C._A._R._Hoare

    "Roedy Green" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I am collecting pithy programming quotations to display at random on
    > the footers of the Java glossary. Do you have any favourites that
    > should be included? Feel free to submit ones you composed yourself
    > you think would be useful/inspiring to fledgling programmers. Here's
    > your chance at immortality.
    >
    >
    > Here is what I have so far:
    >
    >
    > "First we thought the PC was a calculator. Then we found out how to
    > turn numbers into letters with ASCII - and we thought it was a
    > typewriter. Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a
    > television. With the World Wide Web, we've realized it's a brochure."
    > ~ Douglas Adams (born: 1952-03-11 died: 2001-05-11 at age: 49)
    >
    > "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing
    > that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot
    > possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to
    > get at or repair."
    > ~ Douglas Adams (born: 1952-03-11 died: 2001-05-11 at age: 49)
    >
    > "Besides a mathematical inclination, an exceptionally good mastery of
    > one's native tongue is the most vital asset of a competent
    > programmer."
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    >
    > "How do we convince people that in programming simplicity and clarity
    > - in short: what mathematicians call elegance - are not a dispensable
    > luxury, but a crucial matter that decides between success and
    > failure?"
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    >
    > "If you want more effective programmers, you will discover that they
    > should not waste their time debugging, they should not introduce the
    > bugs to start with."
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    >
    > "In the good old days physicists repeated each other's experiments,
    > just to be sure. Today they stick to FORTRAN, so that they can share
    > each other's programs, bugs included."
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    >
    > "It is not the task of the University to offer what society asks for,
    > but to give what society needs."
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    >
    > "It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students
    > that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they
    > are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration."
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    >
    >
    > In particular, he is talking about Bill Gates.
    > "Simplicity is a great virtue but it requires hard work to achieve it
    > and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse: complexity
    > sells better."
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    >
    > "Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability,"
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    >
    > "Testing shows the presence, not the absence of bugs."
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    >
    > "The question of whether Machines Can Think. is about as relevant as
    > the question of whether Submarines Can Swim."
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    >
    > "We must be very careful when we give advice to younger people:
    > sometimes they follow it!"
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    > "Write a paper promising salvation, make it a structured something or
    > a virtual something, or abstract, distributed or higher-order or
    > applicative and you can almost be certain of having started a new
    > cult."
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra (born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72)
    >
    > "If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it."
    > ~ Albert Einstein (born: 1879-03-14 died: 1955-04-18 at age: 76)
    >
    > "Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand."
    > ~ George Eliot (born: 1819-11-22 died: 1880-12-22 at age: 61) (Mary
    > Ann Evans)
    >
    > "A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing
    > before."
    > ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (born: 1803-05-25 died: 1882-04-27 at age: 78)
    >
    > "Always do what you are afraid to do."
    > ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (born: 1803-05-25 died: 1882-04-27 at age: 78)
    >
    > "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path
    > and leave a trail."
    > ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (born: 1803-05-25 died: 1882-04-27 at age: 78)
    >
    > "Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an
    > experiment. The more experiments you make the better."
    > ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (born: 1803-05-25 died: 1882-04-27 at age: 78)
    >
    > "Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could."
    > ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (born: 1803-05-25 died: 1882-04-27 at age: 78)
    >
    > "Don't worry about where you are. Watch the first derivative."
    > translation:
    > "Don't worry about how things are. Watch where they are headed."
    > ~ Fred Green (born: 1913-07-12 died: 1992-04-10 at age: 78) (my Dad,
    > an electrical engineer)
    >
    > "I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more
    > surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that
    > the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we
    > can suppose."
    > ~ J.B.S. Haldane (born: 1892-11-05 died: 1964-12-01 at age: 72)
    >
    > "If builders built buildings the way programmers write programs, then
    > the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization."
    > ~ Weinberg's Second Law (born: 1933 age: 76)
    >
    > "New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any
    > other reason but because they are not already common."
    > ~ John Locke (born: 1632-08-29 died: 1704-10-28 at age: 72) 1795-04-20
    > "To prejudge other men's notions before we have looked into them is
    > not to show their darkness but to put out our own eye."
    > ~ John Locke (born: 1632-08-29 died: 1704-10-28 at age: 72) 1795-04-20
    > "Almost all programming can be viewed as an exercise in caching."
    > ~ Terje Mathisen
    > "Whenever a new discovery is reported to the world, they say first,
    > 'It is probably not true,' Then after, when the truth of the new
    > proposition has been demonstrated beyond question, they say, 'Yes, it
    > may be true, but it is not important.' Finally, when sufficient time
    > has elapsed to fully evidence its importance, they say, 'Yes, surely
    > it is important, but it is no longer new.'"
    > ~ Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (born: 1533 died: 1592 at age: 59)
    >
    > "When you encounter obstacles, you know what you are doing is
    > important."
    > ~ Gottfried Johannes Müller (born: 1914-04-10 age: 95)
    >
    > "I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to
    > have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting
    > myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell
    > than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered
    > before me."
    > ~ Sir Isaac Newton (born: 1642-12-25 died: 1727-03-20 at age: 84)
    >
    > "I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now
    > and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary,
    > whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
    > ~ Isaac Newton (born: 1643-01-04 died: 1727-03-31 at age: 84)
    >
    > "Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one
    > that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it."
    > ~ George Orwell (born: 1903-06-25 died: 1950-01-21 at age: 46)
    >
    > "Never discourage anyone. who continually makes progress, no matter
    > how slow."
    > ~ Plato (born: 428 BC died: 348 BC at age: 80)
    >
    > "Enter any 11-digit prime number to continue."
    > ~ Linux prompt
    >
    > "There is no end to what can be accomplished if you don't care who
    > gets the credit."
    > ~ Art Rennison
    >
    > "If you don't constantly refactor and improve your code as you
    > maintain it, it will deteriorate."
    > ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 61)
    >
    > "If you want to serve your species, you must be willing to fail.
    > People who want personal glory pursue safe mainstream success. But the
    > most valuable discoveries are off the beaten track, and most of that
    > prospecting will not pan out. There is no glory for all by a handful
    > of those who devote themselves to this most valuable exploration."
    > ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 61)
    >
    > "It is too obvious to mention, but. If there are several different
    > ways of doing something, one of them is probably noticeably better. If
    > you do something more than once a day, it is probably worth a little
    > experiment and a few moments contemplating the advantages and
    > disadvantages of doing it each way. Then you can put your choice on
    > automatic."
    > ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 61)
    >
    > "Only Apple has such marketing cachet that they can release a device
    > who primary effect is to make the user go deaf, and it is hailed as
    > the innovation of the century."
    > ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 61)
    >
    > "When a rat philosopher heads down a tunnel and finds no cheese, he
    > does not say to himself 'Rats! I failed'. He says, 'I have learned
    > something. I now know one more place where the cheese isn't."
    > ~ Roedy (born: 1948-02-04 age: 61)
    >
    > "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed.
    > Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being
    > self-evident."
    > ~ Arthur Schopenhauer (born: 1788-02-22 died: 1860-09-21 at age: 72)
    >
    > "All evolution in thought and conduct must at first appear as heresy
    > and misconduct."
    > ~ George Bernard Shaw (born: 1856-07-26 died: 1950-11-02 at age: 94)
    >
    > "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one
    > persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all
    > progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    > ~ George Bernard Shaw (born: 1856-07-26 died: 1950-11-02 at age: 94)
    >
    > "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary
    > depends upon his not understanding it."
    > ~ Upton Sinclair (born: 1878-09-20 died: 1968-11-25 at age: 90)
    >
    > "Every invention creates new needs, but the biggest needs are not for
    > new and more advanced versions of the last invention but for solutions
    > to the social problems the last invention created."
    > ~ Philip Slater (born: 1927 age: 82)
    >
    > "Motors make noise, and that tells you about the feelings and
    > attitudes that went into it. Something was more important than sensory
    > pleasure - nobody would invent a chair or dish that smelled bad or
    > that made horrible noises - why were motors invented noisy? How could
    > they possibly be considered complete or successful inventions with
    > this glaring defect? Unless, of course, the aggressive, hostile,
    > assaultive sound actually served to express some impulse of the
    > owner."
    > ~ Philip Slater (born: 1927 age: 82), The Wayward Gate: Science and
    > the Supernatural
    >
    > "I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief
    > sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and
    > the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity
    > creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean
    > utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They
    > weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are
    > wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit,
    > once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get."
    > ~ Mark Twain (born: 1835-11-30 died: 1910-04-21 at age: 74)
    >
    > "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who
    > are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."
    > ~ Mark Twain (born: 1835-11-30 died: 1910-04-21 at age: 74)
    >
    > "Nothing has really happened until it has been recorded."
    > ~ Virginia Woolf (born: 1882-01-25 died: 1941-03-28 at age: 59)
    >
    > "Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible."
    > ~ Frank Zappa (born: 1940-12-21 died: 1993-12-04 at age: 52)
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    > http://mindprod.com
    >
    > "We must be very careful when we give advice to younger people: sometimes
    > they follow it!"
    > ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra, born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72
     
    Karl Uppiano, Aug 8, 2009
    #10
  11. Jeffrey H. Coffield wrote:

    > Stupidity is the only natural capital offense - Unknown
    >


    I got curious and found it's from Robert Heinlein.
     
    Jeffrey H. Coffield, Aug 8, 2009
    #11
  12. Roedy Green

    Mike Amling Guest

    Roedy Green wrote:
    > I am collecting pithy programming quotations to display at random on
    > the footers of the Java glossary. Do you have any favourites that
    > should be included? Feel free to submit ones you composed yourself
    > you think would be useful/inspiring to fledgling programmers. Here's
    > your chance at immortality.


    "Nothing worthwhile ever goes smoothly." --Mike Amling

    --Mike Amling
     
    Mike Amling, Aug 8, 2009
    #12
  13. Roedy Green

    Mike Amling Guest

    Jeffrey H. Coffield wrote:
    >
    > Roedy Green wrote:
    >> I am collecting pithy programming quotations to display at random on
    >> the footers of the Java glossary. Do you have any favourites that
    >> should be included? Feel free to submit ones you composed yourself
    >> you think would be useful/inspiring to fledgling programmers. Here's
    >> your chance at immortality.
    >>
    >>

    > If I have seen further than others, it is because I stand on the
    > shoulders of giants. - Isaac Newton


    I think he was paraphrasing from Didacus Stella: Pigmaei gigantum
    humeris impositi plusquam ipsi gigantes vident. Pygmies placed on the
    shoulders of giants see more than the giants themselves.

    --Mike Amling
     
    Mike Amling, Aug 8, 2009
    #13
  14. Roedy Green

    Roedy Green Guest

    Thanks everyone. I have now posted your contributions to the
    collection posted at:

    http://mindprod.com/quote/programming.html

    You will also see them sprinkled at random at the bottom of some of
    the pages of the Java glossary, changing periodically.

    The one at the top of the page at
    http://mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html
    will change about every 30 minutes.

    If you think of some more, great.

    Did you ever notice that the computer science greats seem to have a
    very clever sense of humour?

    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    http://mindprod.com

    "We must be very careful when we give advice to younger people: sometimes
    they follow it!"
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra, born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72
     
    Roedy Green, Aug 8, 2009
    #14
  15. Roedy Green

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Sat, 08 Aug 2009 20:38:45 +0100, rossum <>
    wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

    >
    >rossum (who started by learning Algol 68)


    Professor Peck, one of the authors of that twisted Algol-68 report was
    one of my profs. I pleased him by writing a parser for the Algol 68
    declarations in PL/I. rosety rowsety rowsety ...

    It is rare to encounter anyone who went near that strange language.
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    http://mindprod.com

    "We must be very careful when we give advice to younger people: sometimes
    they follow it!"
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra, born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72
     
    Roedy Green, Aug 8, 2009
    #15
  16. Roedy Green

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Sat, 08 Aug 2009 15:45:54 -0500, Mike Amling <>
    wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

    >
    > "Nothing worthwhile ever goes smoothly." --Mike Amling
    >
    >--Mike Amling


    birthdate? year if you worry about id theft.
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    http://mindprod.com

    "We must be very careful when we give advice to younger people: sometimes
    they follow it!"
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra, born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72
     
    Roedy Green, Aug 8, 2009
    #16
  17. On Sat, 08 Aug 2009 15:33:57 -0700, Roedy Green wrote:

    > It is rare to encounter anyone who went near that strange language.
    >

    I didn't think it particularly strange, though the "Very Informal
    Introduction" that started by saying that, as A68 was recursive so was
    this introduction so you couldn't understand it until you'd read it all.

    IIRC it was the first language to introduce typed references (as distinct
    from pointers or function arguments passed by reference), modes (think of
    them as methodless classes) and function overloading. I found it fairly
    easy to learn and easy to solve complex data handling problems with: at
    the time it was the only available HLL that could unpack the George 3
    logging records, which were similar to ASN.1 in approach, and still be
    readable.

    The Algol 68R implementation, dating from around 1976, was and remains
    one of the best compilers and runtime packages I've used. The compiler
    was very fast and produced clear, concise error messages. The run-time
    was also fast and its build-in debugger was ahead of anything available
    then or now - it showed your path through the module that crashed (which
    branch was taken in a conditional, how many times round each loop
    executed, and listed the local variables with values) together with a
    stack trace that also showed local variable values. JVM authors take note!


    --
    martin@ | Martin Gregorie
    gregorie. | Essex, UK
    org |
     
    Martin Gregorie, Aug 9, 2009
    #17
  18. Roedy Green

    David Lamb Guest

    Roedy Green wrote:
    > On Sat, 08 Aug 2009 20:38:45 +0100, rossum <>
    > wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :
    >> rossum (who started by learning Algol 68)

    >
    > It is rare to encounter anyone who went near that strange language.


    I think I still have the formal spec, with its wierd context-sensitive
    grammar, sitting on a shelf in my office.
     
    David Lamb, Aug 9, 2009
    #18
  19. Roedy Green

    Roedy Green Guest

    On Sun, 09 Aug 2009 15:09:38 -0400, David Lamb <>
    wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

    >I think I still have the formal spec, with its wierd context-sensitive
    >grammar, sitting on a shelf in my office.


    Read aloud, it sounds a bit like Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    --
    Roedy Green Canadian Mind Products
    http://mindprod.com

    "We must be very careful when we give advice to younger people: sometimes
    they follow it!"
    ~ Edsger Wybe Dijkstra, born: 1930-05-11 died: 2002-08-06 at age: 72
     
    Roedy Green, Aug 10, 2009
    #19
  20. Roedy Green

    Wojtek Guest

    Roedy Green wrote :
    > I am collecting pithy programming quotations to display at random on
    > the footers of the Java glossary. Do you have any favourites that
    > should be included? Feel free to submit ones you composed yourself
    > you think would be useful/inspiring to fledgling programmers. Here's
    > your chance at immortality.


    Unknown attribution, though I try to include it sonewhere in every app
    I write:

    A programmer is passed off as an exacting expert on the basis of being
    able to turn out, after innumerable debugging sessions, an infinite
    series of incomprehensible answers calculated with micrometric
    precision from vague assumptions based on debatable figures taken from
    inconclusive documents of problematical accuracy by persons of dubious
    reliability and questionable mentality for the purpose of annoying and
    confounding the hopelessly defenceless department that was unfortunate
    enough to have asked for the information in the first place

    --
    Wojtek :)
     
    Wojtek, Aug 10, 2009
    #20
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