Incendiary fun

After the good feedback on the Tex & Knuth quotes (including e-mail and IM messages), I thought why not? Let's have more funny stuff...

Today is a little bit about hot stuff. Incendiary. The type of people which can shake and stir readers' opinions until spawning pages and pages of infuriated responses in forums, mail groups and blogs alike, but have sufficiently founded arguments as to not to be labelled as trolls, and that's probably what makes their words so outrageous!


First, there's this guy called Erik Naggum. He's a genius in borderline trolling; and being a Lisp programmer, he seems to find Perl particularly irritating.

Casually, I once had to deal with a piece of legacy code written in Perl which wasn't behaving properly, and all I got was a lousy notion of how it worked, plus a big headache. So when he says this:

Part of any serious QA is removing Perl code the same way you go over a dilapidated building you inherit to remove chewing gum and duct tape and fix whatever was kept together for real.

... I can't but agree!

There's some love for C++ as well:

C++ is philosophically and cognitively unsound as it forces a violation of all known epistemological processes on the programmer. As a language, it requires you to specify in great detail what you do not know in order to obtain the experience necessary to learn it. C++ has taken premature optimization to the level of divine edict since it cannot be vague in the way the state of the system necessarily is. (I'm not talking about totally vague, but about the kind of vague details that programmers are supposed to figure out even after a good design has been drawn up.) In other words, a C++ programmer is required by language design to express certainty where there cannot be any.

(from here)

The really good part is that he's not wrong. If you have done any C/C++ after working with dynamic languages for a while, you know perfectly what he's referring to. Will it be an unsigned char, a char, an int, unsigned int...? Updating the .h and the .cpp, then the other sources which refer to that class too, blah blah...

In a way, it's like playing cluedo with the compiler :-)

Of course, you can't advocate using dynamic languages for writing a kernel module, yeah, we know that part already; this was about funny quotes, remember? ;-)

There are more quotes by Erik in his own wikiquote entry, should you feel the need for more Naggum-isms.

... and two

The second and final dose of incendiary fun, while it's not strictly a quote, but coming really hot from the oven, comes from the one and only Linus Torvalds, this time reporting an error in Fedora when trying to play a Youtube video:

Description of the problem: youtube no workee - fedora 9 not usable for wife

Incidentally, this has taught me a new expression: rick-roll - which means either watching Rick Astley videos or getting them posted into any place! In other words: spreading the Rick Astleyness as much as possible! So let's all sing something to the tune of Never gonna give you up to celebrate, while we wonder if Linus' bug reporting was intended to be an April Fool's joke in fact!

UPDATE: Now that you know what Rick-rolling is, you have the chance to attend the first ever RickMob, 6pm, 11th April at Liverpool Street station, London, of course!