The book the Ziff folks sent me as an example of their art was 'Late Night VRML 2.0 with Java,' 700 pages + CD-ROM, published February 1997. I was personally acquainted with more movie stars than people who might conceivably have wanted to buy this book or any book like it.

— Philip Greenspun

The most gorgeous Philip Greenspun quotes that will transform you to a better person

Greenspun's Tenth Rule of Programming: any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc informally-specified bug-ridden slow implementation of half of Common Lisp.

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We worried about competitors, but it was an unreasonable fear.

As a friend once pointed out, most gunshot wounds are self-inflicted.

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We're not a vocational school. If someone wants to get a high-paying job, I would hope that there are easier ways to do it than working through a formal computer science curriculum.

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SQL, Lisp, and Haskell are the only programming languages that I've seen where one spends more time thinking than typing.

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Even the lamest page can be saved by collaboration.

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Frame is a good enough piece of software that there are actually rewards to taking an intelligent and formal approach to your problem. But if you want to be stupid, you can think of Frame as a version of Microsoft Word with most of the bugs taken out.

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Everything that I've learned about computers at MIT I have boiled down into three principles: Unix: You think it won't work, but if you find the right wizard, they can make it work. Macintosh: You think it will work, but it won't. PC/Windows: You think it won't work, and it won't.

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Most people who are rich chose their parents wisely.

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Like most people in Academia, my vision of the future is the same as the average industry person's vision of five years ago.

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If I'd had more time or been a better writer, I would have tried to put the same ideas and experiences into a novel. But I didn't so I slapped it up on the Web.

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When you choose a language, youre also choosing a community.

The programmers youll be able to hire to work on a Java project wont be as smart as the ones you could get to work on a project written in Python. And the quality of your hackers probably matters more than the language you choose. Though, frankly, the fact that good hackers prefer Python to Java should tell you something about the relative merits of those languages.

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Start by putting yourself in your users' shoes.

Why are they coming to your site? If you look at most Web sites, you'd presume that the answer is "User is extremely bored and wishes to stare at a blank screen for several minutes while a flashing icon loads, then stare at the flashing icon for a few more minutes."

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About Philip Greenspun

Quotes 18 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Scientist
Birthday October 16

Even within traditional universities there has always been debate about whether it wouldn't be better to focus on only one course at a time.

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Remember that in 1993 a company with a bad Web site needed an engineer.

Today, a company with a bad Web site needs a psychiatrist.

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The devil is real. He lives inside C programs.

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I don't myself believe in astrology. However, I think that's because I'm a Libra and Libras are always skeptical.

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Although the Buddhists will tell you that desire is the root of suffering, my personal experience leads me to point the finger at system administration.

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