Monday, September 13, 2010

Perls from Spain

I'm in Seville, Spain, at a final review of an EU project. The only other meeting I was at was the kick off. Some three years ago. Also in Spain. In between I did many things. Among others I was Secretary General of the Wise Men Group chaired by Felipe Gonzalez. From Spain.

And while I sit here in a bar without internet connection, in Spain, I am reading an old talk by Larry Page. Brilliant talk. Larry invented Perl. The last language I programmed in before I took a sabbatical in politics.

I miss programming. By programming you create. You don't just talk about creation. And ...

... there is more than one way to do things in Perl.

I was a liberal when computer programming. Not a progressive. A liberal. And Larry Page Wall is a liberal:

The very fact that it’s possible to write messy programs in Perl is also what makes it possible to write programs that are cleaner in Perl than they could ever be in a language that attempts to enforce cleanliness.

True greatness is measured by how much freedom you give to others, not by how much you can coerce others to do what you want.

Personally, I think the Perl slogan, There’s More Than One Way To Do It, applies outside of Perl as well as inside. I explicitly give people the freedom not to use Perl, just as God gives people the freedom to go to the devil if they so choose.

He demonstrates that computer programming is applied philosophy ...

A universal truth only has to be true about our particular universe. It doesn’t much matter whether the universe itself is true or false, just as long as it makes a good story. And I think our universe does make a good story. I happen to like the Author.

... and psychology:

Imagine, open source is merely a byproduct of our need for family.

I will conclude with a quote for my spiritual friends:

How is duct tape like the Force? It has a light side, and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

This is deeper than most of the Dawkinsian arguments about the non-existence of God.

-- Written on my iPad with BlogPress.


  1. I love the guy's stile :)

    (Can't you turn off the iPad commercial in the final line of the text?)

  2. Anonymous13/9/10 12:46

    Lary Page (WWW)... Wall (FB)... :)

  3. Larry Page has done a lot, but not enough by 1999 to speak as well as Larry Wall did then.

    Should some of these ideas be used as duct tape to hold Europe together?

  4. Yes, Larry Page is the Google Guy. Larry Wall is the Perl guy. Corrected. Its been a long time since I had the Perl man pages in my hands.

    @Filomena. So do I :) I guess I could turn off the commercial but it is also a subtle statement that one has to buy an App to be able to write blogs on iPad.

    @HuhgBS. I am not sure the EU would endorse the use of duct tape. Looks like something to good not to be regulated.