Or, why is the most frequently-asked question on every web programming framework mailing list, “How do I serve a static page?”

Alan J. Perlis’ epigram on programming #54: *Beware of the Turing tar-pit in which everything is possible but nothing of interest is easy*. Beware indeed. Abstraction isn’t free and the #1 sin of programming is premature generalization.

But that’s the fun of programming, isn’t it? Finding new abstractions, a more “elegant” solution. The rest is just implementing details. Who hasn’t invented a programming language or six on paper?

Epigram #54 doesn’t mean anything of the sort; it means almost the opposite. The Turing machine is simple, Turing-complete (naturally), and horribly inexpressive.

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