Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut

Dutch computer scientist

Johannes Lambertus Adriana van de Snepscheut (12 September 195323 February 1994) was a computer scientist and educator.


  • In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.
    • The earliest known appearance in print of this quote is Benjamin Brewster in the October 1881 - June 1882 issue of "The Yale Literary Magazine." Brewster asks, "What does his lucid explanation amount to but this, that in theory there is no difference between theory and practice, while in practice there is?" See page 202. https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Yale_Literary_Magazine/iJ9MAAAAMAAJ and https://quoteinvestigator.com/2018/04/14/theory/
    • It has also been attributed by Doug Rosenberg and Matt Stephens (2007) Use Case Driven Object Modeling with UMLTheory and Practice p. xxvii as well as Walter J. Savitch, Pascal: An Introduction to the Art and Science of Programming (1984), where it is attributed as a "remark overheard at a computer science conference". It circulated as an anonymous saying for more than ten years before attributions to van de Snepscheut and Yogi Berra began to appear (and later still to various others).

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