larry wall Quotes

Larry Wall Quotes

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larry wall life timeline

Larry Wall releases the first version of the Perl programming language.Friday, December 18th, 1987

Quotes

    • Although the Perl Slogan is There's More Than One Way to Do It, I hesitate to make 10 ways to do something.  :-)
    • And don't tell me there isn't one bit of difference between null and space, because that's exactly how much difference there is.  :-)
    • Because . doesn't match . [-377] is the most efficient way to match everything currently. Maybe e should match everything. And E would of course match nothing.  :-)
    • Besides, REAL computers have a rename() system call.  :-)
    • Chip Salzenberg sent me a complete patch to add System V IPC (msg, sem and shm calls), so I added them. If that bothers you, you can always undefine them in config.sh.  :-)
    • I don't know if it's what you want, but it's what you get.  :-)
    • I dunno, I dream in Perl sometimes...
    • Piet van Oostrum: I find this a nice feature but it is not according to the documentation. Or is it a BUG? Larry Wall: Let's call it an accidental feature. :-)
    • (To someone at New York University) If you consistently take an antagonistic approach, however, people are going to start thinking you're from New York.  :-)
    • If you want to program in C, program in C. It's a nice language. I use it occasionally...  :-)
    • I know it's weird, but it does make it easier to write poetry in perl.  :-)
    • I'm sure that that could be indented more readably, but I'm scared of the awk parser.
    • It is, of course, written in Perl. Translation to C is left as an exercise for the reader.  :-)
    • It's all magic.  :-)
    • It's documented in The Book, somewhere...
    • It won't be covered in the book. The source code has to be useful for something, after all...  :-)
    • Dan Smith: I've tried (in vi) 'g/[a-z] [a-z]/s//_/'...but that doesn't cut it. Any ideas? (I take it that it may be a two-pass sort of solution). Larry Wall: In the first pass, install perl. :-)
    • Let's say the docs present a simplified view of reality...  :-)
    • Let us be charitable, and call it a misleading feature  :-)
    • Perl programming is an *empirical* science!
    • Randal said it would be tough to do in sed. He didn't say he didn't understand sed. Randal understands sed quite well. Which is why he uses Perl.  :-)
    • Real programmers can write assembly code in any language.  :-)
    • The only disadvantage I see is that it would force everyone to get Perl. Horrors.  :-)
    • There are probably better ways to do that, but it would make the parser more complex. I do, occasionally, struggle feebly against complexity...  :-)
    • There are still some other things to do, so don't think if I didn't fix your favorite bug that your bug report is in the bit bucket. (It may be, but don't think it.  :-)
    • Though I'll admit readability suffers slightly...
    • What about WRITING it first and rationalizing it afterwards?  :-)
    • You want it in one line? Does it have to fit in 80 columns?  :-)
    • All language designers are arrogant. Goes with the territory... :-)
    • Besides, including <std_ice_cubes.h> is a fatal error on machines that don't have it yet. Bad language design, there...  :-)
    • Besides, it's good to force C programmers to use the toolbox occasionally.  :-)
    • Hey, I had to let awk be better at *something*...  :-)
    • If I allowed 'next $label' then I'd also have to allow 'goto $label', and I don't think you really want that...  :-)
    • In general, if you think something isn't in Perl, try it out, because it usually is.  :-)
    • I think it's a new feature. Don't tell anyone it was an accident.  :-)
    • It's there as a sop to former Ada programmers.  :-)
    • I won't mention any names, because I don't want to get sun4's into trouble...  :-)
    • Just don't create a file called -rf.  :-)
    • last|perl -pe '$_ x=/(..:..)...(.*)/&&$1ge$1&&$1lt$2' That's gonna be tough for Randal to beat...  :-)
    • No, I'm not going to explain it. If you can't figure it out, you didn't want to know anyway...  :-)
    • Perl itself is usually pretty good about telling you what you shouldn't do. :-)
    • Sorry. My testing organization is either too small, or too large, depending on how you look at it.  :-)
    • There are many times when you want it to ignore the rest of the string just like atof() does. Oddly enough, Perl calls atof(). How convenient.  :-)
    • We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise.
    • ... an initial underscore already conveys strong feelings of magicalness to a C programmer.
    • And I don't like doing silly things (except on purpose).
    •  : And it goes against the grain of building small tools. Innocent, Your Honor. Perl users build small tools all day long.
    • But you have to allow a little for the desire to evangelize when you think you have good news.
    • Down that path lies madness. On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with melting snowballs.
    • If I don't document something, it's usually either for a good reason, or a bad reason. In this case it's a good reason.  :-)
    • If you want to see useful Perl examples, we can certainly arrange to have comp.lang.misc flooded with them, but I don't think that would help the advance of civilization.  :-)
    • > (It's sorta like sed, but not. It's sorta like awk, but not. etc.) Guilty as charged. Perl is happily ugly, and happily derivative.
    • Just don't compare it with a real language, or you'll be unhappy...  :-)
    • Lispers are among the best grads of the Sweep-It-Under-Someone-Else's-Carpet School of Simulated Simplicity. [Was that sufficiently incendiary?  :-)]
    • There ain't nothin' in this world that's worth being a snot over.
    • ...this does not mean that some of us should not want, in a rather dispassionate sort of way, to put a bullet through csh's head.
    • Unix is like a toll road on which you have to stop every 50 feet to pay another nickel. But hey! You only feel 5 cents poorer each time.
    • What is the sound of Perl? Is it not the sound of a wall that people have stopped banging their heads against?
    • You have to admit that it's difficult to misplace the Perl sources.  :-)
    • Doing linear scans over an associative array is like trying to club someone to death with a loaded Uzi.
    • Well, enough clowning around. Perl is, in intent, a cleaned up and summarized version of that wonderful semi-natural language known as 'Unix'.
    • Anyway, there's plenty of room for doubt. It might seem easy enough, but computer language design is just like a stroll in the park. Jurassic Park, that is.
    • Lisp has all the visual appeal of oatmeal with fingernail clippings mixed in.
    • I don't like your I-can-use-anything-as-an-adjective attitude.
    • I want to see people using Perl to glue things together creatively, not just technically but also socially.
    • The whole history of computers is rampant with cheerleading at best and bigotry at worst.
    • If someone stinks, view it as a reason to help them, not a reason to avoid them.
    • As usual, I'm overstating the case to knock a few neurons loose, but the truth is usually somewhere in the muddle, uh, middle.
    • Odd that we think definitions are definitive.  :-)
    •  : But for some things, Perl just isn't the optimal choice. (yet)  :-)
    • I don't like this official/unofficial distinction. It sound, er, officious.
    • If you write something wrong enough, I'll be glad to make up a new witticism just for you.
    • So far we've managed to avoid turning Perl into APL.  :-)
    • Not that I have anything much against redundancy. But I said that already.
    • They can always run stderr through uniq.  :-)
    • I'd put my money where my mouth is, but my mouth keeps moving.
    • Of course, I reserve the right to make wholly stupid changes to Perl if I think they improve the language.  :-)
    • Call me bored, but don't call me boring.
    • I think $[ is more like a coelacanth than a mastadon.
    • We question most of the mantras around here periodically, in case you hadn't noticed.  :-)
    • That could certainly be done, but I don't want to fall into the Forth trap, where every running Forth implementation is really a different language.
    • Tcl long ago fell into the Forth trap, and is now trying desperately to extricate itself (with some help from Sun's marketing department).
    • The whole intent of Perl 5's module system was to encourage the growth of Perl culture rather than the Perl core.
    • Randal can write one-liners again. Everyone is happy, and peace spreads over the whole Earth.
    • Life gets boring, someone invents another necessity, and once again we turn the crank on the screwjack of progress hoping that nobody gets screwed.
    • No prisoner's dilemma here. Over the long term, symbiosis is more useful than parasitism. More fun, too. Ask any mitochondria.
    • P.S. Perl's master plan (or what passes for one) is to take over the world like English did. Er, *as* English did...
    • You can prove anything by mentioning another computer language.  :-)
    • I think you didn't get a reply because you used the terms 'correct' and 'proper', neither of which has much meaning in Perl culture.  :-)
    • I'm sure a mathematician would claim that 0 and 1 are both very interesting numbers.  :-)
    • True, it returns ' ' for false, but ' ' is an even more interesting number than 0.
    • Any false value is gonna be fairly boring in Perl, mathematicians notwithstanding.
    • We didn't put in ^^ because then we'd have to keep telling people what it means, and then we'd have to keep telling them why it doesn't short circuit.  :-/
    • Anybody want a binary telemetry frame editor written in Perl?
    • Perhaps I'm missing the gene for making enemies.  :-)
    • Perl has a long tradition of working around compilers.
    • Personally, I like to defiantly split my infinitives.  :-)
    • Real theology is always rather shocking to people who already think they know what they think. I'm still shocked myself.  :-)
    • The computer should be doing the hard work. That's what it's paid to do, after all.
    • The following two statements are usually both true: There's not enough documentation. There's too much documentation.
    • Of course, this being Perl, we could always take both approaches.  :-)
    • The random quantum fluctuations of my brain are historical accidents that happen to have decided that the concepts of dynamic scoping and lexical scoping are orthogonal and should remain that way.
    • At many levels, Perl is a 'diagonal' language.
    • I'm serious about thinking through all the possibilities before we settle on anything. All things have the advantages of their disadvantages, and vice versa.
    • Part of language design is perturbing the proposed feature in various directions to see how it might generalize in the future.
    • Sometimes we choose the generalization. Sometimes we don't.
    • I wouldn't ever write the full sentence myself, but then, I never use goto either.
    • It's appositival, if it's there. And it doesn't have to be there. And it's really obvious that it's there when it's there.
    • Oh, get ahold of yourself. Nobody's proposing that we parse English.
    • As with all the other proposals, it's basically just a list of words. You can deal with that... :-)
    • I hope I'm not getting so famous that I can't think out load [sic] anymore.
    • It would be possible to optimize some forms of goto, but I haven't bothered.
    • A 'goto' in Perl falls into the category of hard things that should be possible, not easy things that should be easy.
    • How do Crays and Alphas handle the POSIX problem?
    • Well, that's more-or-less what I was saying, though obviously addition is a little more cosmic than the bitwise operators.
    • You tell it that it's indicative by appending $!. That's why we made $! such a short variable name, after all.  :-)
    • The choice of approaches could be made the responsibility of the programmer.
    • As someone pointed out, you could have an attribute that says 'optimize the heck out of this routine', and your definition of heck would be a parameter to the optimizer.
    • If you're going to define a shortcut, then make it the base [sic] darn shortcut you can.
    • It is my job in life to travel all roads, so that some may take the road less travelled, and others the road more travelled, and all have a pleasant day.
    • It's getting harder and harder to think out loud. One of these days someone's gonna go off and kill Thomas a'Becket for me...
    • I was about to say, 'Avoid fame like the plague,' but you know, they can cure the plague with penicillin these days.
    • But the possibility of abuse may be a good reason for leaving capabilities out of other computer languages, it's not a good reason for leaving capabilities out of Perl.
    • Oh, wait, that was Randal...nevermind...
    • P.S. I suppose I really should be nicer to people today, considering I'll be singing in Billy Graham's choir tonight...  :-)
    • Magically turning people's old scalar contexts into list contexts is a recipe for several kinds of disaster.
    • And we can always supply them with a program that makes identical files into links to a single file.
    • I wasn't recommending that we make the links for them, only provide them with the tools to do so if they want to take the gamble (or the gambol).
    • This has been planned for some time. I guess we'll just have to find someone with an exceptionally round tuit.
    •     switch (ref [email protected]) {     OverflowError => warn 'Dam needs to be drained';     DomainError => warn 'King needs to be trained';     NuclearWarError => die;     }
    • I surely do hope that's a syntax error.
    • Anyway, my money is still on use strict vars . . .
    • If you remove stricture from a large Perl program currently, you're just installing delayed bugs, whereas with this feature, you're installing an instant bug that's easily fixed. Whoopee.
    • I don't think it's worth washing hogs over.
    • It's certainly easy to calculate the average attendance for Perl conferences.
    • Tcl tends to get ported to weird places like routers.
    • Historically Tcl has always stored all intermediate results as strings. (With 8.0 they're rethinking that. Of course, Perl rethought that from the start.)
    • Just don't make the '9' format pack/unpack numbers...  :-)
    • I think that's easier to read. Pardon me. Less difficult to read.
    • To ordinary folks, conversion is not always automatic. It's something that may or may not require explicit assistance. See Billy Graham.  :-)
    • Well, you can implement a Perl peek() with unpack('P',...). Once you have that, there's only security through obscurity.  :-)
    • It may be possible to get this condition from within Perl if a signal handler runs at just the wrong moment. Another point for Chip...  :-)
    • As pointed out in a followup, Real Perl Programmers prefer things to be visually distinct.
    • The Harvard Law states: Under controlled conditions of light, temperature, humidity, and nutrition, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.
    • That should probably be written:     no [email protected]#$%^&*:@!semicolon
    • That gets us out of deciding how to spell Reg[eE]xp?|RE . . . Of course, then we have to decide what ref $re returns...  :-)
    • 'Course, that doesn't work when 'a' contains parentheses.
    • I was trying not to mention backtracking. Which, of course, means that yours is 'righter' than mine, in a theoretical sense.
    • Not that I'm against sneaking some notions into people's heads upon occasion. (Or blasting them in outright.)
    • (To the extent that anyone but a Prolog programmer can understand X totally. (And to the extent that a Prolog programmer can understand 'cut'. :-))
    • Wow, I'm being shot at from both sides. That means I *must* be right.  :-)
    • You don't have to wait--you can have it in 5.004_54 or so.  :-)
    • There's something to be said for returning the whole syntax tree.
    • It's not really a rule--it's more like a trend.
    • Double *sigh*. _04 is going onto thousands of CDs even as we speak, so to speak.
    • The code also assumes that it's difficult to misspell 'a' or 'b'.  :-)
    • Well, hey, let's just make everything into a closure, and then we'll have our general garbage collector, installed by 'use less memory'.
    • People who understand context would be steamed to have someone else dictating how they can call it.
    • For the sake of argument I'll ignore all your fighting words.
    • Think of prototypes as a funny markup language--the interpretation is left up to the rendering engine.
    • The way these things go, there are probably 6 or 8 kludgey ways to do it, and a better way that involves rethinking something that hasn't been rethunk yet.
    • Beauty? What's that?
    • I'm afraid my gut level reaction is basically, proceed is cute, but cute doesn't cut it in the emergency room.
    • I suppose one could claim that an undocumented feature has no semantics.  :-(
    • Yes, we have consensus that we need 64 bit support.  :-)
    •  : - cut in regexps I don't think we reached consensus on that. We're still backtracking...
    • Boss: You forgot to assign the result of your map! Hacker: Dang, I'm always forgetting my assignations... Boss: And what's that 'goto' doing there?!? Hacker: Er, I guess my finger slipped when I was typing 'getservbyport'... Boss: Ah well, accidents will happen. Maybe we should have picked APL.
    • Perhaps they will have to outlaw sending random lists of words. fee fie foe foo
    • Hey, if pi == 3, and three == 0, does that make pi == 0?  :-)
    • (Never thought I'd be telling Malcolm and Ilya the same thing... :-)
    • And other operators aren't so special syntactically, but weird in other ways, like 'scalar', and 'goto'.
    • Portability should be the default.
    • If this were Ada, I suppose we'd just constant fold 1/0 into     die 'Illegal division by zero
    • Are you perchance running on a 64-bit machine?
    • Almost nothing in Perl serves a single purpose.
    • There's some entertainment value in watching people juggle nitroglycerin.
    • Reserve your abuse for your true friends.
    • Er, Tom, I hate to be the one to point this out, but your fix list is starting to resemble a feature list. You must be human or something.
    • It's hard to tune heavily tuned code.  :-)
    • Perl will always provide the null.
    • It's easy to solve the halting problem with a shotgun.  :-)
    • Well, I think Perl should run faster than C.  :-)
    • To Perl, or not to Perl, that is the kvetching.
    • I suppose you could switch grammars once you've seen 'use strict subs'.  :-)
    • Well, you know, Hubbard had a bunch of people sworn to commit suicide when he died. So of course he never officially died...
    • Even the White House has a press agent.  :-)
    • That's a valid argument. I just don't think it's valid enough.  :-)
    • Perl should remain fast and intuitive (to the extent that it is :-)
    • I would estimate that the number of programs it breaks in the world will be less than 10. As long as one of those 10 isn't CGI.pm, we're probably okay.
    • Just put in another goto, and then it'll be readable.  :-)
    • I'm reminded of the day my daughter came in, looked over my shoulder at some Perl 4 code, and said, 'What is that, swearing?
    • Y'know, there are other possibilities if we assume that filenames are UTF-8...yikes...wait, put down that meat cleaver! Aieeee!!!
    •     print rand rand rand 1, ' '; # interesting distribution
    •  : I could understand principles of Perl source in 2-3 days [. . .] Gee, it took me about eleven years.  :-)
    • There's often more than one correct thing. There's often more than one right thing. There's often more than one obvious thing.
    • I don't believe I've ever cuddled my elses.
    • I've always maintained a cordial dislike for indent, because it's usually right.
    • I'd make people say 'use Fork;' if I thought I could get away with it.
    • The way I see it, if you declare something portable, you'll always be wrong, and if you declare it non-portable, you'll always be right.  :-)
    • Perhaps you should compile your Perl with long doubles one of these megaseconds.
    •  : Why Bible quotes exclusively? What happened to the Eastern religions?<BR> I'm still working on the Unicode mods.
    • Maybe we should take a clue from FTP and put in an option like 'print hash marks on every 1024 iterations'.  :-)
    • And besides, if Perl really takes off in the Windows space, I think the rest of us would just as soon have a double-agent within ActiveState.  :-)
    • The court finds everyone to be in contempt (including himself :-), and orders everyone sentenced to five years hard labor. (Working on Perl, of course.)
    • I note that the Python folks still think they like JPython. I wonder how long that will last?
    • I view the JVM as just another architecture that Perl ought to be ported to. (That, and the Underwood typewriter...)
    • So please don't think I have a 'down' on the MVS people. I'm just pulling off their arms to beat other people over the head with.
    • It's, uh, pseudo code. Yeah, that's the ticket... [...] And 'unicode' is pseudo code for $encoding.  :-)
    •  : What do people think? What, do people think?  :-)
    • Well, sure, I explicitly mentioned 'vtables' last time I brought this up. But a single pointer is fairly paltry, as tables go.  :-)
    • I dunno. Perhaps you should be happy that I have a policy of refraining from grumbling about handicapped operating systems.  :-)
    • Perl did not get where it is by ignoring psychological factors.
    • On the plus side, it's a lot easier in general to find /usr/include than cpp.
    • Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
    • That which hits the fan tends to get flung in all directions.
    • If this were Ada, we'd simply doc it as 'erroneous'.
    • So I'm thinking about ??, or !!, or //, or \, or whatever. But I think I like ?? the best so far. Or the least worst.
    • One operator is no big deal. That can be fixed in a jiffy.
    • In Clintonese, that would be 'You are free to infer that I was saying that.'  :-)
    • Would you trust the linguistic intuitions of someone who has been studying Latin or Greek for three days?
    • But I know what's important to me, and what isn't. And I think I know what people can get used to, and what they can even learn to like. (It just takes some people longer than others. :-)
    • My arthritic pinkies are already starting to ache just thinking about ||||=.
    • Orthogonality for orthogonality's sake is not something I'm keen on.
    • Must be a different Larry Wall. There are at least 137 of us in the U.S.
    • Symmetry is overrated. Overrated is symmetry.
    • That is a known bug in 5.00550. Either an upgrade or a downgrade will fix it.
    • That being said, I think we should immediately deprecate any string concatenation that combines '19' with '99'.  :-)
    • The Golden Gate wasn't our fault either, but we still put a bridge across it.
    • It should be illegal to yell 'Y2K' in a crowded economy.  :-)
    • One thing I do understand is that people get scared when I start thinking out loud.  :-)
    •  : No comment, since this is still hovering (see Larry's reply). Flutter, flutter.
    • We don't have enough parallel universes to allow all uses of all junction types--in the absence of quantum computing the combinatorics are not in our favor...
    • Accidental stacks considered harmful.
    • I try not to confuse roles and traits in my own life. Being the Perl god is a role. Being a stubborn cuss is a trait.  :-)
    • And in the limiting case where the optimizer is completely broken because it's not implemented yet, we get to work around that too. Optionally...
    • I think I'm happier with that. $rubyometer += 0.3 or so.  :-)
    • double value; /* or your money back! */ short changed; /* so triple your money back! */
    • /* now make a new head in the exact same spot */
    • #define NULL 0 /* silly thing is, we don't even use this */
    • #define SIGILL 6 /* blech */
    • if (rsfp = mypopen('/bin/mail root','w')) { /* heh, heh */
    • /* And you'll never guess what the dog had */ /* in its mouth... */
    • break; /* don't do magic till later */
    • stab_val(stab)->str_nok = 1; /* what a wonderful hack! */
    • tmps_base = tmps_max; /* protect our mortal string */
    • pos += screamnext[pos] /* does this goof up anywhere? */
    • str->str_pok |= SP_FBM; /* deep magic */ s = (unsigned char*)(str->str_ptr); /* deeper magic */
    • echo 'Congratulations. You aren't running Eunice.
    • echo 'Hmmm...you don't have Berkeley networking in libc.a...' echo 'but the Wollongong group seems to have hacked it in.
    • echo 'ICK, NOTHING WORKED!!! You may have to diddle the includes.';;
    • echo $package has manual pages available in source form. echo 'However, you don't have nroff, so they're probably useless to you.
    • echo 'Your stdio isn't very std.'
    • [End of diatribe. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...]
    • OOPS! You naughty creature! You didn't run Configure with sh! I will attempt to remedy the situation by running sh for you...
    • That means I'll have to use $ans to suppress newlines now. Life is ridiculous.
    • There is, however, a strange, musty smell in the air that reminds me of something...hmm...yes...I've got it...there's a VMS nearby, or I'm a Blit.
    • You can't have filenames longer than 14 chars. You can't even think about them!
    • Your csh still thinks true is false. Write to your vendor today and tell them that next year Configure ought to 'rm /bin/csh' unless they fix their blasted shell. :-)
    • /* we have tried to make this normal case as abnormal as possible */
    • s = (char*)(long)retval; /* ouch */
    • signal(i, SIG_DFL); /* crunch, crunch, crunch */
    • if (instr(buf,sys_errlist[errno])) /* you don't see this */
    • /* dbmrefcnt--; */ /* doesn't work, rats */
    • #else /* !STDSTDIO */ /* The big, slow, and stupid way */
    • /* This bit of chicanery makes a unary function followed by a parenthesis into a function with one argument, highest precedence. */
    • Be consistent.
    • Does the same as the system call of that name. If you don't know what it does, don't worry about it.
    • Even if you aren't in doubt, consider the mental welfare of the person who has to maintain the code after you, and who will probably put parens in the wrong place.
    • Help save the world!
    • If you want your program to be readable, consider supplying the argument.
    • In general, they do what you want, unless you want consistency.
    • Okay, that's definitely enough hype.
    • Perl is designed to give you several ways to do anything, so consider picking the most readable one.
    • Remember though that THERE IS NO GENERAL RULE FOR CONVERTING A LIST INTO A SCALAR.
    • The autodecrement is not magical.
    • *** The previous line contains the naughty word '$&'. if /(ibm|apple|awk)/; # :-)
    • When in doubt, parenthesize. At the very least it will let some poor schmuck bounce on the % key in vi.
    • But I'm not here to talk about postmodernism. I tried to do that last spring, and afterwards I was thoroughly deconstructed by the deconstructionists for attempting to deconstruct deconstructionism. At least, that's the construction I put on their construction of it. I was talking about postmodern culture, and they thought I was talking about postmodern literature. Not at all the same thing!
    • And C was good at something I like to call manipulexity, that is the manipulation of complex things. While shell was good at something else which I call whipuptitude, the aptitude for whipping things up.
    • So... Perhaps the Perl 6 slogan should be 'All Your Paradigms Are Belong To Us'. We'll get to that.
    • I simultaneously believe that languages are wonderful and awful. You have to hold both of those. Ugly things can be beautiful. And beautiful can get ugly very fast. You know, take Lisp. You know, it's the most beautiful language in the world. At least up until Haskell came along. (laughter) But, you know, every program in Lisp is just ugly. I don't figure how that works.
    • Now, I'm not the only language designer with irrationalities. You can think of some languages to go with some of these things.
    • How do you type it? With your keyboard.
    • If there's a particular problem that Perl is trying to solve, it's the basic fact that all programming languages suck. Sort of the concept of original sin, applied to programming languages.
    • There are a lotta computer languages out there doing drugs.
    • In computer science, it is said that premature optimization is the root of all evil.
    • [Boxed] Multiple bouncing balls in a box are a metaphor for community. Notice how the escaping balls explode. This is what happens to people who move from Perl to Ruby.
    • ...Then you start building things like the Berlin wall to keep people inside your community. In anthropological terms, that's tribalism. A tribal Perl programmer might say, 'If you leave the Perl tribe to go and join the Python tribe, we will hunt you down, cook you, and eat you.' Or if you join the Ruby tribe, you will explode. By and large, I am not in favor of tribalism. Except for my tribe, of course.
    • The three chief virtues of a programmer are: Laziness, Impatience and Hubris.
    • The problem with being consistent is that there are lots of ways to be consistent, and they're all inconsistent with each other.
    • There's really no way to fix this and still keep Perl pathologically eclectic.
    • :I also discovered Larry's First Law of Language Redesign: Everyone wants the colon.
    • Larry's 2nd Law of Language Redesign: Larry gets the colon.
    • When's the last time you used duct tape on a duct?
    • Jesse Vincent: My dog is Web 2.0. Prove me wrong. Larry: Does your dog have a long tail? Damian Conway: If you enjoyed these practices, find 245 more like this in this book. Larry: Does your dog have a long tail?
    • Q. Why is this so clumsy? A. The trick is to use Perl's strengths rather than its weaknesses.
    • I already have too much problem with people thinking the efficiency of a perl construct is related to its length. On the other hand, I'm perfectly capable of changing my mind next week...  :-)
    • I'll say it again for the logic impaired.
    • I might be able to shoehorn a reference count in on top of the numeric value by disallowing multiple references on scalars with a numeric value, but it wouldn't be as clean. I do occasionally worry about that.
    • Interestingly enough, since subroutine declarations can come anywhere, you wouldn't have to put BEGIN {} at the beginning, nor END {} at the end. Interesting, no? I wonder if Henry would like it. :-)
    • It is easier to port a shell than a shell script.
    •  : I've heard that there is a shell (bourne or csh) to perl filter, does : anyone know of this or where I can get it? Yeah, you filter it through Tom Christiansen.  :-)
    • Tactical? TACTICAL!?!? Hey, buddy, we went from kilotons to megatons several minutes ago. We don't need no stinkin' tactical nukes. (By the way, do you have change for 10 million people?)
    • > This made me wonder, suddenly: can telnet be written in perl? Of course it can be written in Perl. Now if you'd said nroff, that would be more challenging...
    •  : 1. What is the possibility of this being added in the future? In the near future, the probability is close to zero. In the distant future, I'll be dead, and posterity can do whatever they like...  :-)
    • (Presuming for the sake of argument that it's even *possible* to design better code in Perl than in C.  :-)
    • Obviously I was either onto something, or on something.
    • It's the Magic that counts.
    • May you do Good Magic with Perl.
    • I knew I'd hate COBOL the moment I saw they'd used 'perform' instead of 'do'.
    • But we can both blame it all on Henry.
    • Hmm, doubtful. The source code generally wasn't there when I needed it.
    • If ease of use was the highest goal, we'd all be driving golf carts.
    • Many computer scientists have fallen into the trap of trying to define languages like George Orwell's Newspeak, in which it is impossible to think bad thoughts. What they end up doing is killing the creativity of programming.
    • What you'll need most is courage. It is not an easy path that you've set your foot upon.
    • Optimizations always bust things, because all optimizations are, in the long haul, a form of cheating, and cheaters eventually get caught.
    • larry wall

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