Archive for September 15th, 2006

Back to the Future: On the Terms “NFA,” “DFA,” and “Regular Expression”

In my previous post I dug up messages someone wrote almost 10 years ago, and in some places challenged what they wrote. In writing the post, I mostly wanted to document the thread that created the somewhat-famous "now you have two problems" quote, and the challenges and rebuttals I included are a bit unfair of me (being 10 years later, with little chance that the author would care to engage now in a debate about writings and technology 10 years old).

So, with that in mind I'd like to refute a comment made yesterday on the Slashdot review [...]
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Source of the famous “Now you have two problems” quote

As I mentioned in my previous post, my Mastering Regular Expressions book was just reviewed on Slashdot. One thing that struck me in reading all the resulting comments was the (several different copies of an) apparently famous quote that goes something like:

It's apparently quite well known, so it floors me that this is the first I've seen it. Despite being a manifestation of the ignorance discussed in my previous post, I can certainly appreciate it for its wit.

This quote is generally attributed to Jamie Zawinski (an early Netscape engineer) from a post on the comp.lang.emacs Usenet newsgroup. [...]
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