Erik Naggum

Från, den fria unixresursen.

Erik Naggum är en Lisp-programmerare med väldigt färgstark personlighet som ligger bakom några Usenetklassiker. Man kan lätt få intrycket att han inte tycker särskilt mycket om Perl, C++ eller Scheme.




  • "Excuse me while I barf in Larry Wall's general direction."
  • "a novice had a problem and could not find a solution. "I know", said the novice, "I'll just use Perl!" the novice now had two problems."
  • "It's not that perl programmers are idiots, it's that the language rewards idiotic behavior in a way that no other language or tool has ever done."
  • "If Perl is the solution, you're solving the wrong problem."
  • "Perl is for people who want it to work. Common Lisp is for people who want it not to break."
  • "I guess there are some things that are so gross you just have to forget, or it'll destroy something within you. Perl is the first such thing I have known."
  • "The ultimate laziness is not using Perl. That saves you so much work you wouldn't believe it if you had never tried it."


  • "Well, take it from an old hand: the only reason it would be easier to program in C is that you can't easily express complex problems in C, so you don't."
  • "C is not clean -- the language has _many_ gotchas and traps, and although its semantics are _simple_ in some sense, it is not any cleaner than the assembly-language design it is based on."
  • "C being what it is lacks support for multiple return values, so the notion that it is meaningful to pass pointers to memory objects into which any random function may write random values without having a clue where they point, has _not_ been debunked as the sheer idiocy it really is"
  • "... so as long as you do The Right Thing and forget how you would do it in C, you should be able to get a good grip on this."


  • "C++ is a language strongly optimized for liars and people who go by guesswork and ignorance."
  • "... it's just that in C++ and the like, you don't trust _anybody_, and in CLOS you basically trust everybody. the practical result is that thieves and bums use C++ and nice people use CLOS."
  • "That's why the smartest companies use Common Lisp, but lie about it so all their competitors think Lisp is slow and C++ is fast. (This rumor has, however, gotten a little out of hand. :)"
  • "I believe C++ instills fear in programmers, fear that the interaction of some details causes unpredictable results. Its unmanageable complexity has spawned more fear-preventing tools than any other language, but the solution _should_ have been to create and use a language that does not overload the whole goddamn human brain with irrelevant details."


  • "Gotos aren't damnable to begin with. If you aren't smart enough to distinguish what's bad about some gotos from all gotos, goto hell."
  • "If I sound grumpy, it is only because I have come across too many idiots of the "it can't be done" persuasion lately, the kind of managers who have an aquarium in their office because fifteen brains think better than one."
  • "languages shape the way we think, or don't."
  • "Unfortunately, nigh the whole world is now duped into thinking that silly fill-in forms on web pages is the way to do user interfaces."
  • "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."
  • "Enlightenment is probably antithetical to impatience."
  • "I have long since given up dealing with people who hold idiotic opinions as if they had arrived at them through thinking about them."
  • "I have a cat, so I know that when she digs her very sharp claws into my chest or stomach it's really a sign of affection, but I don't see any reason for programming languages to show affection with pain."
  • "Those who have deviant punctuation desires should take care of their own perverted needs."
  • "Sufficiently advanced political correctness is indistinguishable from irony."

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