Larry Wall's "My Own Irrationationalities" - Fortune

Larry Wall's "My Own Irrationationalities"

So I'd like to start off with my own irrationalities.

I don't think syntax should dangle in the wind. I'm with Aristotle. I think things should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Which means I like K&R bracketing. I do not like the way that Python hangs stuff out there, with no end.

I think that ordinary people dislike abstraction. That's because I dislike abstraction and I think I'm ordinary. (laughter) I might be wrong about that, but I don't know.

I simultaneously believe that languages are wonderful and awful. You have to hold both of those. Ugly things can be beautiful. And beautiful can get ugly very fast. You know, take Lisp. You know, it's the most beautiful language in the world. At least up until Haskell came along. (laughter) But, you know, every program in Lisp is just ugly. I don't figure how that works.

I think visual metaphors are very important. How it looks. Different things should look different. Similar things should look similar. A language designer simultaneously has to care what other people think, and has to not care what other people think. Otherwise you go crazy. Well, crazier. (laughter)

And finally, I think God has free will. And therefore he created programmers with free will and that they ought to be given choices.

Author Larry Wall
Work Present Continuous, Future Perfect