Alan Perlis

When someone says “I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done,” give him a lollipop. {cite}

Beware of the Turing tar-pit in which everything is possible but nothing of interest is easy. {cite}

Donald Knuth

The most important thing in the programming language is the name. A language will not succeed without a good name. I have recently invented a very good name and now I am looking for a suitable language. {cite (not sourced)}

Edsger Dijkstra

Please don’t fall into the trap of believing that I am terribly dogmatic about [the go to statement]. I have the uncomfortable feeling that others are making a religion out of it, as if the conceptual problems of programming could be solved by a simple trick, by a simple form of coding discipline! {cite}

Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. {cite}

Erik Raymond

Ugly programs are like ugly suspension bridges: they’re much more liable to collapse than pretty ones, because the way humans (especially engineer-humans) perceive beauty is intimately related to our ability to process and understand complexity. A language that makes it hard to write elegant code makes it hard to write good code. {cite}

Hal Abelson

[Computer science] is not really about computers — and it’s not about computers in the same sense that physics is not really about particle accelerators, and biology is not about microscopes and Petri dishes…and geometry isn’t really about using surveying instruments.

Now the reason that we think computer science is about computers is pretty much the same reason that the Egyptians thought geometry was about surveying instruments: when some field is just getting started and you don’t really understand it very well, it’s very easy to confuse the essence of what you’re doing with the tools that you use.


Murray Gell-Mann

The Feynman Algorithm:

  1. Write down the problem.
  2. Think real hard.
  3. Write down the solution.


Randall Monroe

Functional programming combines the flexibility and power of abstract mathematics with the intuitive clarity of abstract mathematics. {cite}

Steve Yegge

If you don’t know how compilers work, then you don’t know how computers work.


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