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by ryan davis



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If you don’t understand interpreters, you can still write programs; you can even be a competent programmer. But you can’t be a master. - D.P. Friedman, M. Wand, T. Hayne, Essentials of Programming Languages

I have been told that one of the reasons for the longevity of the Roman bridges is that their designers had to stand under them when they were first used. It may be time to put a similar discipline into the software field. - Henry Baker

Rules of Optimization: Rule 1: Don’t do it. Rule 2 (for experts only): Don’t do it yet. - M.A. Jackson

“More computing sins are committed in the name of efficiency (without necessarily achieving it) than for any other single reason - including blind stupidity.” - W.A. Wulf

“We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil.” - Donald Knuth

“Optimization hinders evolution.” - Anon.

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.” - Stephen Hawking

“Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you’re as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it?” - Brian Kernigham

“There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.” - C.A.R. Hoare

“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.” - Phil Greenspun

“Debugging is anticipated with distaste, performed with reluctance, and bragged about forever.” - Anon.

“Sometimes it pays to stay in bed in Monday, rather than spending the rest of the week debuging Monday’s code.” - Dan Salomon

“You cannot apply a technological solution to a sociological problem.” - Edwards’ Law

“Making the simple complex is easy. Making the complex simple, awesomely simple, now THAT is genius.” - Charles Mingus

“It is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt ax. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.” - Edsger Dijkstra

“The competent programmer is fully aware of the limited size of his own skull. He therefore approaches his task with full humility, and avoids clever tricks like the plague.” – Edsger Dijkstra

Stuff

The value of the average conversation could be enormously improved by the constant use of four simple words: “I do not know.” -Andre Maurois

“The best is the enemy of the good.” - Voltaire

“1. Out of clutter, find simplicity. 2. From discord, find harmony. 3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein, three rules of work

“Theory and Practice are the same… in Theory” - Unknown (but taken from Scott Daniels of OGI)

“The best way to escape from a problem is to solve it.” - Alan Saporta

“If human beings don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation, he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don’t keep exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working.” - Douglas Adams

“A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” - Douglas Adams

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” - Alan Kay

“To learn and to love, that is what we are here for, any activity which is not grounded in one of these two is a waste of time.” - Anne Rice

It is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt ax. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.” - Edsger Dijkstra

“The critical driver of every successful project is its focused ruthlessness.” - Grady Booch

“To attain knowledge, add things everyday; to obtain wisdom, remove things everyday.” - Lao Tzu

“Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it.” - Alan Perlis

“It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.” - Antoine de Saint ExupĂ©ry, Terre des Hommes

“Treat every problem as if it can be solved with ridiculous simplicity. The time you save on the 98% of problems for which this is true will give you ridiculous resources to apply to the other 2%.” - Dr. Paul MacCready

(In)sanity

“That man lives best who’s fain to live half-mad, half-sane.” - Flemish Poet Jan Van Stijevoort, 1524

“The measure of (mental) health is flexibility (not comparison to some “norm”), the fredom to learn from experiences… to be influenced by reasonable arguments… and the appeal to the emotions… and especially the freedome to ceace when sated.” - Laurence Kubie

The essence of illness is the freezing of behavior into unalterable and insatable patterns. - Laurence Kubie

“Normality is the ability to learn by experience, to be flexible, and to adapt to a changing environment.” - Laurence Kubie