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Real programmers can write assembly code in any language.
(Larry Wall).

As far as I can make out, Mr. Larry Wall is trying to say that to a real programmer any language can have the same functionality as ASM. But I seriously do not understand. How can you write assembly code in high level languages like Perl, Python, Java and C#? Languages like Perl and Python don't even have pointers. Or Does he mean something else? What is Mr. Wall actually trying to say?

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Its tongue in cheek. Unfortunately sarcasm translates badly to the written word. –  Loki Astari Jul 30 '11 at 5:19
    
I don't know how you could quote Larry Wall, and spell Perl in all-caps. –  Brad Gilbert Jan 2 '12 at 0:57
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2 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

It is a tongue-in-cheek mockery of an earlier meme about "real programmers" which is a variation of the "no true Scotsman" fallacy and "real men don't eat quiche" which was a very popular book.

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?RealProgrammer

Original thread where Wall stated this.
Monty Python version, The Four Yorkshiremen is a mockery of this whole thing.

"Real programmers" don't need high level languages, and The Story of Mel is the exemplar of this. And it was uphill both ways!

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Mel has earned my respect. Converting an infinite loop into a jump instruction is pure genius. Though I think that may have been an accident. (+1) –  ApprenticeHacker Jul 30 '11 at 4:48
    
I bookmarked your answer –  user2567 Jul 30 '11 at 7:34
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The story of Mel is one of those things that simultaneously brings me out in a cold sweat while earning my complete respect. But still terrified. –  temptar Jul 31 '11 at 17:24
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The Four Yorkshiremen sketch actually predates all of the other references here. *8') It even predates Monty Python, though theirs is probably the most recignised performance: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Yorkshiremen_sketch & youtube.com/watch?v=-eDaSvRO9xA –  Mark Booth Aug 2 '11 at 10:19
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I'd rename the "no true scotsman" to "you're not Agile enough" ;) –  Aadaam Aug 6 '12 at 16:30
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It's a snarky/funny suggestion that many programmers end up writing generic, plodding, one-step-after-the-other code, even when the language provides sophisticated constructs that would allow for clever and efficient solutions if only the programmers would take the trouble to learn what the language has to offer. It's a follow-on to the ancient quip that "real programmers can write FORTRAN in any language".

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