The Art of Ballistic Programming


Come to Science Center Hall D from 5:30PM to 7:00PM on Tuesday, March 31st, to Larry Wall, inventor of of Perl talk about its history and current development! Co-sponsored by SEAS.

Join us for an unedited version of the history of Perl, its current development and much wit and panache.

Below, please note the interesting facts about Larry Wall that we've unabashedly copied from Wikipedia.

Wall continues to oversee further development of Perl and serves as the Benevolent Dictator for Life of the Perl project. His role in Perl is best conveyed by the so-called 2 Rules, taken from the official Perl documentation.

  • Rule 1: Larry is always by definition right about how Perl should behave. This means he has final veto power on the core functionality.
  • Rule 2: Larry is allowed to change his mind about any matter at a later date, regardless of whether he previously invoked Rule 1. Got that? Larry is always right, even when he was wrong.

Wall along with Randal L. Schwartz and Tom Christiansen writing in the second edition of Programming Perl, outlined the Three Virtues of a Programmer:

  • laziness - The quality that makes you go to great effort to reduce overall energy expenditure. It makes you write labor-saving programs that other people will find useful, and document what you wrote so you don't have to answer so many questions about it. Hence, the first great virtue of a programmer. Also hence, this book. See also impatience and hubris.
  • impatience - The anger you feel when the computer is being lazy. This makes you write programs that don't just react to your needs, but actually anticipate them. Or at least pretend to. Hence, the second great virtue of a programmer. See also laziness and hubris.
  • hubris - Excessive pride, the sort of thing Zeus zaps you for. Also the quality that makes you write (and maintain) programs that other people won't want to say bad things about. Hence, the third great virtue of a programmer. See also laziness and impatience.