Epigrams in programming

FeepingCreature feepingcreature at gmail.com
Mon Aug 24 05:21:34 UTC 2020

On Monday, 24 August 2020 at 00:10:42 UTC, claptrap wrote:
> Hah I stumbled on to this...
> https://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/perlis-alan/quotes.html
> a few highlights...
> 3. Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon.
> 15. Everything should be built top-down, except the first time.
> 40. There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the 
> third one works.
> 41. Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but 
> withstand progress

Epigram zero: "Clever" is not the same as "true" - but they are 

Also note the Hacker Folklore appendix to the Jargon Files ( 
http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/appendixa.html ) - and *wow* 
is there ever a document that needs new revisions. Surely it 
can't be that hacker culture hasn't changed over the past twenty 
years ... right?

That aside, I really wish somebody would feed Perlis' epigrams 
into GPT-3. I'm curious what it would come up with. (Come on 
OpenAI, give us commercial API access already.)

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