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Larry Wall quotes (showing 1-11 of 11)

“When they first built the University of California at Irvine they just put the buildings in. They did not put any sidewalks, they just planted grass. The next year, they came back and put the sidewalks where the trails were in the grass. Perl is just that kind of language. It is not designed from first principles. Perl is those sidewalks in the grass.”
Larry Wall
“You can’t change the past. You can’t even change the future, in the sense that you can only change the present one moment at a time, stubbornly, until the future unwinds itself into the stories of our lives.”
Larry Wall
“True greatness is measured by how much freedom you give to others, not by how much you can coerce others to do what you want.”
Larry Wall
“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”
Larry Wall
“Real programmers can write assembly code in any language.”
Larry Wall
“For me, writing is a love-hate relationship.”
Larry Wall
“Perl doesn't have an infatuation with enforced privacy. It would prefer that you stayed out of its living room because you weren't invited, not because it has a shotgun”
Larry Wall
“Modernism was based on a kind of arrogance ... and led designers to believe that if they thought of something cool, it must be considered universally cool. That is, if something's worth doing, it's worth driving into the ground to the exclusion of all other approaches. Look at the use of parentheses in Lisp or the use of white space as syntax in Python. Or the mandatory use of objects in many languages, including Java. All of these are ways of taking freedom away from the end user "for their own good". They're just versions of Orwell's Newspeak, in which it's impossible to think bad thoughts. We escaped from the fashion police in the 1970s, but many programmers are still slaves of the cyber police.”
Larry Wall
“A couple of years ago, I ran into someone at a trade show who was representing the NSA (National Security Agency). He mentioned to someone else in passing that he'd written a filter program in Perl, so without telling him who I was, I asked him if I could tell people that the NSA uses Perl. His response was, "Doesn't everyone?" So now I don't tell people the NSA uses Perl. I merely tell people the NSA thinks everyone uses Perl. They should know, after all.”
Larry Wall
“The best way to figure out what Perl is used for is to look at the ... Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (the CPAN, for short). ... [Y]ou'll get the impression that Perl has interfaces to almost everything in the world. With a little thought, you may figure out the reason Perl has interfaces to everything is not so much so Perl itself can talk to everything, but so Perl can get everything in the world talking to everything else in the world. The combinatorics are staggering. The very first issue of The Perl Journal ... contained an article entitled 'How Perl Saved the Human Genome Project'. It explains how all the different genome sequencing laboratories used different databases with different formats, and how Perl was used to massage the data into a cohesive whole.”
Larry Wall
“The overall intent is to make everyone sufficiently happy (or in some cases, insufficiently unhappy).”
Larry Wall


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