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...it is simplicity that is difficult to make.

Bertolt Brecht

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.

John Gallhttp://ivory.idyll.org/blog/apr-09/pursuing-simplicity

All interesting software-intensive systems are messy creations, full of gorp required to address the fringe cases of behavior expected of the system and spotted with scar tissue (from late night, critical, gotta-do-it-or-the-company-tanks repairs) and vestigial organs (formed from old, tired software that no one has had the time to purge).

Grady Booch

Bigger is just something you have to live with in Java. Growth is a fact of life. Java is like a variant of the game of Tetris in which none of the pieces can fill gaps created by the other pieces, so all you can do is pile them up endlessly.

Steve Yeggehttp://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2007/12/codes-worst-enemy.html

Complex problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers.

Grossman's Misquote

Die Dinge/Werkzeuge, die am meisten Fehler zulassen, schenken im Gegenzug das Hoechstmass an Freiheit.

Steffen Glückselig

Eine Tatsache ist um so wertvoller, je einfacher sie ist.

Buch: Zen und die Kunst ein Motorrad zu warten, Seite 279

Einfachheit, Pointiertheit sind ein Zeichen dafür, dass etwas druchdacht wurde. Deshalb sind Gesundheitsreformen, Steuererklärungen und Gesetze kompliziert.

Steffen Glückselig

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Albert Einstein

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.

H. L. Mencken

I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.

Albert Einstein

I conclude that there are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult.

Sir Charles Antony Richard (C. A. R.) Hoarehttp://lambda-the-ultimate.org/node/1446 - Out of the Tarpit

I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short.

Blaise Pascal

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when looked at in the right way, did not become still more complicated.

Poul Anderson

I think programmers have become inured to incidental complexity, in particular by confusing familiar or concise with simple. And when they encounter complexity, they consider it a challenge to overcome, rather than an obstacle to remove. Overcoming complexity isn't work, it's waste.

Rich Hickeyhttp://www.simple-talk.com/opinion/geek-of-the-week/rich-hickey-geek-of-the-week/

I think programmers have become inured to incidental complexity... when they encounter complexity, they consider it a challenge to overcome, rather than an obstacle to remove.

Overcoming complexity isn't work, it's waste.

Rich Hickey

I think that books which try to digest, coordinate, get rid of the duplication, get rid of teh less fruitful methods and present the underlying ideas clearly of what we know now, will be the things the future generations will value.

Richard Hamming in "You and Your Research"

If it were any simpler, it would be illegal.

Rob Andrews - Jython and Swing

In science, strong theories tend to be simple, yet have almost infinite potential for complexity in application.


It is a simple task to make things complex, but a complex task to make things simple.

Meyers' Law, wer auch immer dieser Meyer ist...

It's better to make something extendable by somebody else than to waste your time making it so complete that simplicity goes away.

Scott McKay

Keep simple things simple, make complex things possible.

Komplexität ist eine Eigenschaft des Problems.

Kompliziertheit ist eine Eigenschaft der Problemlösung.

Steffen Glückselig

Make it work. Make it right. Make it beautiful. Make it fast.


Make simple things simple, dangerous things difficult, but for goodness sake, let me do my job.


Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.

Charles Mingus

Note, that when a sentence is made stronger, it usually becomes shorter. Thus brevity is a by-product of vigour.

William Strunk Jrhttp://www.two-sdg.demon.co.uk/curbralan/papers/BrevityIsTheSoulOfWit.html

Our ability to imagine complex applications will always exceed our ability to develop them.

Grady Booch

Perfektion der Mittel - Konfusion der Ziele.

Albert Einstein

See it big, and keep it simple.

Wilfred Peterson

shibumi: pass through knowledge and arrive at simplicity


Simple things should be simple and complex things should be possible.

Alan Kay

Simplicity can only be attained if it is recognised, sought and prized.

Out of the Tarpit - http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/node/1446

Simplicity carried to the extreme becomes elegance.

Jon Franklin

Simplicity is power. The power to do less of what doesn't matter and more of what does.

Bill Jensen

Simplicity is the outward sign and symbol of depth of thought.

Lin Yutang

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Leonardo Da Vinci

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

Hans Hofmann

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.

Hans Hoffmann

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.

Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

The paradox of simplicity is that making things simpler is hard work.

Bill Jensen

The price of reliability is the pursuit of the utmost simplicity.

Sir Charles Antony Richard (C. A. R.) HoareOut of the Tarpit - http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/node/1446

The purpose of abstraction is to simplify things so our limited brain-power has some chance of success.

Will Clinger

The whole is simpler than the sum of its parts.

Willard Gibbs

This could be a lot more uh, uh, uh, complex, I mean it just might, it might not be such a simple, uh, you know?

The Dude in - The Big Lebowski -

To attain knowledge, add things everyday;

to obtain wisdom, remove things everyday.


To me, the simple act of tying a knot is an adventure in unlimited space. A bit of string affords a dimensional latitude that is unique among the entities. For an uncomplicated strand is a palpable object that, for all practical purposes, possesses one dimension only. If we move a single strand in a plane, interlacing it at will, actual objects of beauty and utility can result in what is practically two dimensions, and if we choose to direct our strand out of this one plane, another dimension is added, which provides opportunity for an excursion that is limited only by the scope of our own imagery and the length of the ropemakers coil.

What can be more wonderful than that?

Clifford Ashley

Very often, people confuse simple with simplistic. The nuance is lost on most.

Clement Mok, Chief Creative Officer, Sapient

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in

Elements of Style

Was es alles gibt, was ich nicht brauche!


Wie mühvoll es ist, Müheloses zu schaffen.

Andy Goldsworthy

You can recognize truth by its beauty and simplicity. When you get it right, it is obvious that it is right.

Richard Feynman
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