Quick Quotes

Assortment of short programming language related quotations.

Mostly one-liners, origin often unknown. Hopefully witty.

  • A type system without a programming language is like Juliet without Romeo - unable to survive alone. -- Wadler & Simeon

  • Static typing is to a good programmer what a spell checker is to a good writer. -- Peter Van Roy

  • The more interesting your types get, the less fun it is to write them down! -- Pierce

  • Programming language people have a term for making the syntax of a language pretty: syntactic sugar. XML is syntactic arsenic. -- Patrick Logan

  • Structure is nothing if it is all you got. Skeletons spook people if [they] try to walk around on their own. I really wonder why XML does not. -- Erik Naggum, comp.lang.lisp

  • XML's data structure is hierarchic and unless data types, integrity and manipulation are added to it (to produce a full-fledged data model), just a bunch of tags are not sufficient for self-description. But if the three components are added -- which is what is happening in W3C -- the result will be the same nightmares that prompted us to rid ourselves of hierarchic DBMSs years ago. -- Fabian Pascal, DataBase Debunking

  • It keeps all the stuff that I never use in C++ - inheritance, virtuals - OO gook - and removes the stuff that I find useful. -- Stepanov Interview, talking about Java. The interesting thing is not to humiliate Java, but his view on OO. It's surprising he doesn't use OO in C++.

  • XML is Lisp's bastard nephew, with uglier syntax and no semantics. Yet XML is poised to enable the creation of a Web of data that dwarfs anything since the Library at Alexandria. -- Philip Wadler, Et tu XML? The fall of the relational empire VLDB, Rome, September 2001 (keynote).

  • ...object oriented programming will be in the 1980's what structured programming was in the 1970's. Everyone will be in favor of it. Every manufacturer will promote his products as supporting it. Every manager will pay lip service to it. Every programmer will practice it (differently). And no one will know just what it is. -- Tim Rentsch 1982, quoted by Chris Hostetter.

  • There are three kinds of programmers: those who make off by one errors, and those who don't. Editor's note: Yes, off by one errors are a language issue.

  • If SETI@home works, for example, we'll need libraries for communicating with aliens. Unless of course they are sufficiently advanced that they already communicate in XML. -- Paul Graham, The Hundred-Year Language

Editors, please note that you should be able to update this page. Feel free to add quotes you find relevant.