41 Total Quotes

Alan Perlis Quotes

One man's constant is another man's variable.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist

The string is a stark data structure and everywhere it is passed there is much duplication of process. It is a perfect vehicle for hiding information.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist

Don't have good ideas if you aren't willing to be responsible for them.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist #Ideas

Computer Science is embarrassed by the computer.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist #Science

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.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist #Education

If you have a procedure with 10 parameters, you probably missed some.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist #Complexity

Symmetry is a complexity-reducing concept (co-routines include subroutines); seek it everywhere.
Alan Perlis
#Complexity

We toast the Lisp programmer who pens his thoughts within nests of parentheses.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist

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

In a 5 year period we get one superb programming language - only we can't control when the 5 year period will begin.
Alan Perlis
#Control

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.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist #Words

There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist

The computing field is always in need of new cliches.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist #Cliche

If a listener nods his head when you're explaining your program, wake him up.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist

LISP programmers know the value of everything and the cost of nothing.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist #Value

When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop.
Alan Perlis
#Language

It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist

In computing, turning the obvious into the useful is a living definition of the word "frustration".
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist #Frustration

A programming language is low level when its programs require attention to the irrelevant.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist

If your computer speaks English, it was probably made in Japan.
Alan Perlis
#American Scientist