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Re: Compiled version of awk program

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: Compiled version of awk program
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2021 02:21:16 -0600

arnold@skeeve.com wrote:
> I stand corrected. :-)

In think in the end it is I who stands corrected.  But at least you
know that I had tried to give it a correct attribution on the first
pass before posting it. :-)

Further research turned up that this is a topic of some debate!  Who
said what?  I find a lot of conflict about it.  It turns out that it
was Knuth himself who set this confusion in motion!  After reading
through various references I find this one to be the most


    Both are usually attributed to Donald Knuth, but there also seems
    to be an idea floating around, that the quote was originally due
    to C. A. R. Hoare, and Knuth only popularised it. This is false;
    this post is an attempt to settle the matter of its authorship:
    the evidence unambiguously indicates that the quote is Knuth's
    However, from 15 years later, there is Knuth's paper The Errors of
    Tex, in Software--Practice & Experience, Volume 19, Issue 7 (July
    1989), pp. 607-685, reprinted in his book Literate Programming
    (see p. 276), in which he writes

        But I also knew, and forgot, Hoare's dictum that premature
        optimization is the root of all evil in programming.

    This seems to be the source of the popular attribution to Hoare --
    a short-circuit of Knuth's original (uncited) attribution.  Knuth
    calls it Hoare's dictum, but appears to have forgotten not only
    the dictum but the fact that he was the one who said it.  I (and
    others) have not been able to track down any citation for the
    actual quote being due to Hoare, and Knuth does not provide one.

Please read the entire posting at that reference as it includes an
email from Tony Hoare saying he has no recollection of it and other
corroborating evidence.  I just wanted to include enough context here
where this could stand along if read offline from the reference above.

Therefore it seems Knuth is the correct attribution for it after all.
I must stand corrected for the attribution.  I am happy to do so
however. :-)


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