ezyang’s blog

the arc of software bends towards understanding

Quote Day

Unattributed to protect the innocent. (But you can probably guess.)

“And so these poor programmers, they had to drink this much whiskey to get the job done.” [triumphantly produces a bottle of whiskey and places it on the table.] “And this group of programmers did X, and how hard was that? Two bottles of whiskey.” [places two more bottles of whiskey on the table] “But that wasn’t fast enough. And so this group of programmers did Y. Four bottles of whiskey.” [four more bottles appear] “As you can see, this is requiring an exponentially increasing amount of whiskey.”

“Locks and semaphores are Soviet-era technology.”

On the subject of optimizing algorithms by porting them to lower level hardware description languages: “There are much more productive things for you young PhD students to be doing.”

On Tycho Brahe: “Drunk. Irascible. Fat. Brilliant. Definitely a role model.”

“One of the benefits of Hindley-Milner inference is that it’s quite efficient.” “You mean EXPTIME-complete.”

“Any god-fearing man should write his type signatures.”

On the absence of let generalization in GHC 7.0: “It’s not a feature, it’s a bug with benefits.”

“You would think that explicit type signatures would make the type checker’s job easier, but actually they are making the checker’s job harder.”

“I strongly recommend this paper, but do carry along a jar of aspirin.”