Me wearing ridiculous goggles

Esoteric Languages

For a period in 2000-2001, back when I was learning how programming languages work, I wrote up a few simple languages in the vein of Befunge and Brainfuck — essentially elaborate jokes that explored areas of the design space that other, wiser folks had avoided. I sent descriptions to the esolang mailing list, where similarly bewildered people hung out. I expected a giggle at best.

12 years later, I’m still getting emails. I guess there are a lot of other weirdos on the Internet!

  • HQ9+: the first tutorial-complete programming language.
  • 4DL: the first explicitly four-dimensional programming language.
  • Beatnik: an interpretive (but not necessarily interpreted) programming language using free-verse poetry and the Scrabble scoring system.

Around the same time, I wrote my first Forth implementation (for the 68000). Whether Forth qualifies as an esoteric programming language, or an elaborate joke, is in the eye of the beholder.

More Cliffle

By Topic