Talk:Larry Wall

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I got the email the other day. It seems sincere at first sight.

From: David Wall [deleted]
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 21:23:54 -0500
Subject: Larry Wall quotes
X-Mailer: Mulberry/3.0.0 (Win32)

I happened upon the Larry Wall quotes page
(  Since most of the "official"
quotes are missing, I grabbed a copy, wrote a short Perl program to rough
it into wiki formatting, and started to post it.  However, it's too large
for easy posting, and the markup may not be entirely clean, so I thought I
would defer to someone who presumably knows more about adding to the wiki
than I do.

I placed the raw wiki text of the quotes at
http://[deleted]/upload/larry-wall-quotes.txt so that, if you like, you
can grab it and post it to the wiki however you see fit.

If I've contacted you in error, or you simply don't have the time or
inclination to post the quotes, you have my apology.

David Wall

It was sincere. I noticed that you had been editing the Larry Wall quotes, and your comment that you weren't finished, so I tried to help. I'm not familiar with all the text-formatting conventions on this wiki, so rather than possibly mess up the page, I sent email to you. However, I didn't expect you to post the address of my toy server here, so I deleted it from the above. --David Wall

Borken Google Groups links[edit]

Those google groups are invalid ones, atleast mos of them.

More details? The ones I tried are working. Marcod'Itri 09:30, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Example, the first link in the 1998 section
  • 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.
PhilHibbs 12:31, 12 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

hubris quote source[edit]

As far as the "Laziness, Impatience and Hubris" quote that is not currently attributed, he did say something very much like that in the 2nd State of the Onion:

The exact quote there is "Most of you are familiar with the virtues of a programmer. There are three, of course: laziness, impatience, and hubris."


It's from the glossary of the first w:Programming Perl book. --RandalSchwartz 27 June 2005 18:49 (UTC)


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Larry Wall. --Antiquary 21:35, 14 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]

  • 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.  :-)
    • On core code vs. module code design
  • Obviously I was either onto something, or on something.
    • On the creation of Perl
  • It's the Magic that counts.
    • On Perl's apparent ugliness
  • May you do Good Magic with Perl.
    • Larry Wall's blessing
  • I knew I'd hate COBOL the moment I saw they'd used 'perform' instead of 'do'.
    • On a not-so-popular programming language
  • But we can both blame it all on Henry.
    • On perl's regex engine
  • Hmm, doubtful. The source code generally wasn't there when I needed it.
    • When asked if he learned Perl from the perl source
  • 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.