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

— Alan Perlis

The most contentment Alan Perlis quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

Adapting old programs to fit new machines usually means adapting new machines to behave like old ones.

51

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

35

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

33

It is better to have 100 functions operate on one data structure than to have 10 functions operate on 10 data structures.

27

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

21

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

16

Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon.

16

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

15

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

12

To understand a program, you must become both the machine and the program.

10

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

10

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

10

About Alan Perlis

Quotes 59 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Scientist
Birthday October 16

A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.

10

Programmers are not to be measured by their ingenuity and their logic but by the completeness of their case analysis.

8

Dealing with failure is easy: Work hard to improve.

Success is also easy to handle: You've solved the wrong problem. Work hard to improve.

7

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

7

In the long run, every program becomes rococo, and then rubble.

6

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

5

In English every word can be verbed.

5

Because of its vitality, the computing field is always in desperate need of new cliches: Banality soothes our nerves.

5

In man-machine symbiosis, it is man who must adjust: The machines can't.

5

Computer Science is embarrassed by the computer.

5

I think it is inevitable that people program poorly.

Training will not substantially help matters. We have to learn to live with it.

5

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

4

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?

4

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

4

Motto for a research laboratory: what we work on today, others will first think of tomorrow.

4

You think you KNOW when you learn, are more sure when you can write, even more when you can teach, but certain when you can program.

4

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

4

When a professor insists computer science is X but not Y, have compassion for his graduate students.

4

Every reader should ask himself periodically “Toward what end, toward what end?”—but do not ask it too often lest you pass up the fun of programming for the constipation of bittersweet philosophy.

3

FORTRAN is not a flower but a weed - it is hardy, occasionally blooms, and grows in every computer.

3

Any noun can be verbed.

3

A good programming language is a conceptual universe for thinking about programming.

3

In programming, as in everything else, to be in error is to be reborn.

3

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing.

2

Optimization hinders evolution. Everything should be built top-down, except the first time. Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

1

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

0

We are on the verge: Today our program proved Fermat's next-to-last theorem.

0

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

0

One can only display complex information in the mind.

Like seeing, movement or flow or alteration of view is more important than the static picture, no matter how lovely.

0

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

0

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

0

In computing, the mean time to failure keeps getting shorter.

0

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.

0

Once you understand how to write a program get someone else to write it.

0

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.

0

One can't proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means.

0

The computing field is always in need of new cliches.

0