An esoteric programming language

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Usability is rarely a goal for esoteric programming language designers—often it is quite the opposite. The earliest, and still the canonical example of an esoteric language was INTERCAL, designed in 1972 by Don Woods and James M. Lyon, with the stated intention of being unlike any other programming language the authors were familiar with. For many years INTERCAL was represented only by paper copies of the INTERCAL manual. The language’s revival in 1990 as an implementation in C under Unix stimulated a wave of interest in the intentional design of esoteric computer languages. In 1993, Wouter van Oortmerssen created FALSE, a small stack-oriented programming language, with syntax designed to make the code inherently obfuscated, confusing, and unreadable.

It also has a compiler of only 1024 bytes. A Turing tarpit is a Turing-complete programming language in which any computable function could theoretically be written, but in which it is impractically difficult to do so. Esoteric languages may be described as Turing tarpits, especially when they aim to minimize the number of language features. Apply it to transform the current program state. A single instruction always includes two sequential phases: choosing an operation, and executing it.

The paradigm of a language can fall into a number of categories, and these categories are used to get a general understanding of the way that a specific language operates. The current official standard for the behaviour of these programming languages is the Funge-98 specification. This specification is a generalisation of the semantics of the Befunge programming language, which has a two-dimensional toroidal topology. A one instruction set computer is a machine which supports only one operation.