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Larry Wall (Computer Scientist)

Although theSlogan is There's More Than One Way to Do It, I hesitate to make 10 ways to do something.
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 space
Because . doesn't match \n. [\0-\377] is the most efficient way to match everything currently. Maybe \e should match everything. And \E would of course match nothing.
Larry Wall
Besides, REAL computers have a rename() system call.
Larry Wall real
Chip Salzenberg sent me a complete patch to add System V IPC (msg, sem and shm calls), so I added them. If that bothers you, you can always undefine them in config.sh.
Larry Wall you
I don't know if it's what you want, but it's what you get.
Larry Wall you
I dunno, I dream insometimes...
Larry Wall time
Piet van Oostrum: I find this a nice feature but it is not according to the documentation. Or is it a BUG?Larry Wall: Let's call it an accidental feature.
Larry Wall men
(To ) If you consistently take an antagonistic approach, however, people are going to start thinking you're from New York.
Larry Wall art
If you want to program in C, program in C. It's a nice language. I use it occasionally...
Larry Wall language
I know it's weird, but it does make it easier to write poetry in .
Larry Wall poetry
I'm sure that that could be indented more readably, but I'm scared of the awk parser.
Larry Wall read
It is, of course, written in . Translation to C is left as an exercise for the reader.
Larry Wall read
It's all magic.
Larry Wall magic
It's documented in The Book, somewhere...
Larry Wall men
It won't be covered in the book. The source code has to be useful for something, after all...
Larry Wall book
Dan Smith: I've tried (in vi) 'g/[a-z]\n[a-z]/s//_/'...but that doesn't cut it. Any ideas? (I take it that it may be a two-pass sort of solution).Larry Wall: In the first pass, install .
Larry Wall ideas
Let's say the docs present a simplified view of reality...
Larry Wall reality
Let us be charitable, and call it a misleading feature
Larry Wall
programming is an *empirical* science!
Larry Wall science
said it would be tough to do in sed. He didn't say he didn't understand sed.understands sed quite well. Which is why he uses Perl.
Larry Wall
Real programmers can write assembly code in any language.
Larry Wall language
The only disadvantage I see is that it would force everyone to get Perl. Horrors.
Larry Wall sad
There are probably better ways to do that, but it would make the parser more complex. I do, occasionally, struggle feebly against complexity...
Larry Wall struggle
There are still some other things to do, so don't think if I didn't fix your favorite bug that your bug report is in the bit bucket. (It may be, but don't think it.
Larry Wall you
Though I'll admit readability suffers slightly...
Larry Wall light
What about WRITING it first and rationalizing it afterwards?
Larry Wall war
You want it in one line? Does it have to fit in 80 columns?
Larry Wall want
All language designers are arrogant. Goes with the territory...
Larry Wall language
Besides, including is a fatal error on machines that don't have it yet. Bad language design, there...
Larry Wall language
Besides, it's good to force C programmers to use the toolbox occasionally.
Larry Wall good
Hey, I had to let awk be better at *something*...
Larry Wall
If I allowed 'next $label' then I'd also have to allow 'goto $label', and I don't think you really want that...
Larry Wall you
In general, if you think something isn't in , try it out, because it usually is.
Larry Wall you
I think it's a new feature. Don't tell anyone it was an accident.
Larry Wall think
It's there as a sop to former Ada programmers.
Larry Wall
I won't mention any names, because I don't want to get sun4's into trouble...
Larry Wall men
Just don't create a file called -rf.
Larry Wall create
last|perl -pe '$_ x=/(..:..)...(.*)/&&''$1''ge$1&&''$1''lt$2' That's gonna be tough forto beat...
Larry Wall
No, I'm not going to explain it. If you can't figure it out, you didn't want to know anyway...
Larry Wall you
Perl itself is usually pretty good about telling you what you shouldn't do.
Larry Wall self
Sorry. My testing organization is either too small, or too large, depending on how you look at it.
Larry Wall you
There are many times when you want it to ignore the rest of the string just like atof() does. Oddly enough,calls atof(). How convenient.
Larry Wall time
We all agree on the necessity of compromise. We just can't agree on when it's necessary to compromise.
Larry Wall
... an initial underscore already conveys strong feelings of magicalness to a C programmer.
Larry Wall magic
And I don't like doing silly things (except on purpose).
Larry Wall purpose
 : And it goes against the grain of building small tools. Innocent, Your Honor. Perl users build small tools all day long.
Larry Wall rain
But you have to allow a little for the desire to evangelize when you think you have good news.
Larry Wall desire
Down that path lies madness. On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with melting snowballs.
Larry Wall lies
If I don't document something, it's usually either for a good reason, or a bad reason. In this case it's a good reason.
Larry Wall men
If you want to see useful Perl examples, we can certainly arrange to have comp.lang.misc flooded with them, but I don't think that would help the advance of civilization.
Larry Wall you
> (It's sorta like sed, but not. It's sorta like awk, but not. etc.) Guilty as charged. Perl is happily ugly, and happily derivative.
Larry Wall guilt
Just don't compare it with a real language, or you'll be unhappy...
Larry Wall language
Lispers are among the best grads of the Sweep-It-Under-Someone-Else's-Carpet School of Simulated Simplicity. [Was that sufficiently incendiary?]
Larry Wall city
There ain't nothin' in this world that's worth being a snot over.
Larry Wall world
...this does not mean that some of us should not want, in a rather dispassionate sort of way, to put a bullet through csh's head.
Larry Wall passion
Unix is like a toll road on which you have to stop every 50 feet to pay another nickel. But hey! You only feel 5 cents poorer each time.
Larry Wall time
What is the sound of Perl? Is it not the sound of a wall that people have stopped banging their heads against?
Larry Wall people
You have to admit that it's difficult to misplace the Perl sources.
Larry Wall you
Doing linear scans over an associative array is like trying to club someone to death with a loaded Uzi.
Larry Wall death
Well, enough clowning around. Perl is, in intent, a cleaned up and summarized version of that wonderful semi-natural language known as 'Unix'.
Larry Wall language
Anyway, there's plenty of room for doubt. It might seem easy enough, but computer language design is just like a stroll in the park. Jurassic Park, that is.
Larry Wall language
Lisp has all the visual appeal of oatmeal with fingernail clippings mixed in.
Larry Wall wit
I don't like your I-can-use-anything-as-an-adjective attitude.
Larry Wall attitude
I want to see people usingto glue things together creatively, not just technically but also socially.
Larry Wall people
The whole history of computers is rampant with cheerleading at best and bigotry at worst.
Larry Wall history
If someone stinks, view it as a reason to help them, not a reason to avoid them.
Larry Wall reason
As usual, I'm overstating the case to knock a few neurons loose, but the truth is usually somewhere in the muddle, uh, middle.
Larry Wall truth
Odd that we think definitions are definitive.
Larry Wall think
 : But for some things, Perl just isn't the optimal choice. (yet)
Larry Wall choice
I don't like this official/unofficial distinction. It sound, er, officious.
Larry Wall
If you write something wrong enough, I'll be glad to make up a new witticism just for you.
Larry Wall you
So far we've managed to avoid turning Perl into APL.
Larry Wall man
Not that I have anything much against redundancy. But I said that already.
Larry Wall read
They can always run stderr through uniq.
Larry Wall
I'd put my money where my mouth is, but my mouth keeps moving.
Larry Wall money
Of course, I reserve the right to make wholly stupid changes toif I think they improve the language.
Larry Wall change
Call me bored, but don't call me boring.
Larry Wall
I think $[ is more like a coelacanth than a mastadon.
Larry Wall think
We question most of the mantras around here periodically, in case you hadn't noticed.
Larry Wall man
That could certainly be done, but I don't want to fall into the Forth trap, where every running Forth implementation is really a different language.
Larry Wall men
Tcl long ago fell into the Forth trap, and is now trying desperately to extricate itself (with some help from Sun's marketing department).
Larry Wall art
The whole intent of Perl 5's module system was to encourage the growth of Perl culture rather than the Perl core.
Larry Wall courage
can write one-liners again. Everyone is happy, and peace spreads over the whole Earth.
Larry Wall art
Life gets boring, someone invents another necessity, and once again we turn the crank on the screwjack of progress hoping that nobody gets screwed.
Larry Wall progress
No prisoner's dilemma here. Over the long term, symbiosis is more useful than parasitism. More fun, too. Ask any mitochondria.
Larry Wall fun
P.S. Perl's master plan (or what passes for one) is to take over the world like English did. Er, *as* English did...
Larry Wall world
You can prove anything by mentioning another computer language.
Larry Wall men
I think you didn't get a reply because you used the terms 'correct' and 'proper', neither of which has much meaning in Perl culture.
Larry Wall culture
I'm sure a mathematician would claim that 0 and 1 are both very interesting numbers.
Larry Wall math
True, it returns ' ' for false, but ' ' is an even more interesting number than 0.
Larry Wall true
Any false value is gonna be fairly boring in Perl, mathematicians notwithstanding.
Larry Wall value
We didn't put in ^^ because then we'd have to keep telling people what it means, and then we'd have to keep telling them why it doesn't short circuit.  :-/
Larry Wall people
Anybody want a binary telemetry frame editor written in Perl?
Larry Wall body
Perhaps I'm missing the gene for making enemies.
Larry Wall sin
Perl has a long tradition of working around compilers.
Larry Wall work
Personally, I like to defiantly split my infinitives.
Larry Wall person
Real theology is always rather shocking to people who already think they know what they think. I'm still shocked myself.
Larry Wall people
The computer should be doing the hard work. That's what it's paid to do, after all.
Larry Wall work
The following two statements are usually both true: There's not enough documentation. There's too much documentation.
Larry Wall men

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