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Edsger W. Dijkstra (1930 – 2002)


Dutch computer scientist, and winner of the 1972 Turing Award.
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Edsger W. Dijkstra
A convincing demonstration of correctness being impossible as long as the mechanism is regarded as a black box, our only hope lies in not regarding the mechanism as a black box.
Dijkstra quotes
As a result of a long sequence of coincidences I entered the programming profession officially on the first spring morning of 1952, and as far as I have been able to trace, I was the first Dutchman to do so in my country.
Dijkstra
You probably know that arrogance, in computer science, is measured in nanodijkstras.




Dijkstra Edsger W. quotes
It is not the task of the University to offer what society asks for, but to give what society needs.
Dijkstra Edsger W.
About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt axe. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.
Edsger W. Dijkstra quotes
There are many different styles of composition. I characterize them always as Mozart versus Beethoven. When Mozart began to write at that time he had the composition ready in his mind. He wrote the manuscript and it was 'aus einem Guss' (casted as one). And it was also written very beautiful. Beethoven was an indecisive and a tinkerer and wrote down before he had the composition ready and plastered parts over to change them. There was a certain place where he plastered over nine times and one did remove that carefully to see what happened and it turned out the last version was the same as the first one.
Edsger W. Dijkstra
The competent programmer is fully aware of the strictly limited size of his own skull; therefore he approaches the programming task in full humility, and among other things he avoids clever tricks like the plague.
Dijkstra Edsger W. quotes
I think of the company advertising "Thought Processors" or the college pretending that learning BASIC suffices or at least helps, whereas the teaching of BASIC should be rated as a criminal offence: it mutilates the mind beyond recovery.
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