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Alan Perlis quotes (27)

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   Category:

A programming language is low level when its programs require attention to the irrelevant.
Alan Perlis   Category:

A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God.
Alan Perlis   Category: Science

Computer Science is embarrassed by the computer.
Alan Perlis   Category:

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

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

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it.
Alan Perlis   Category:

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   Category: Technology

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

If you have a procedure with 10 parameters, you probably missed some.
Alan Perlis   Category:

If your computer speaks English, it was probably made in Japan.
Alan Perlis   Category: Computers

In computing, turning the obvious into the useful is a living definition of the word "frustration".
Alan Perlis   Category: Computers

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

In software systems it is often the early bird that makes the worm.
Alan Perlis   Category: Technology

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?
Alan Perlis   Category:

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   Category:

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.
Alan Perlis   Category:

It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
Alan Perlis   Category:

LISP programmers know the value of everything and the cost of nothing.
Alan Perlis   Category:

One man's constant is another man's variable.
Alan Perlis   Category:

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.
Alan Perlis   Category:

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress.
Alan Perlis   Category:

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.
Alan Perlis   Category:

The computing field is always in need of new cliches.
Alan Perlis   Category:

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

We toast the Lisp programmer who pens his thoughts within nests of parentheses.
Alan Perlis   Category:

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