BASIC, Snobol, Algol, Speedcode, Pascal, Forth, C, C++, COBOL, LISP, Logo, APL, Fortran, Ada,
Modula-2, RPG, Java, ... These programming languages are well-known and (more or less)
well-loved throughout the computer industry. There are numerous other languages, however,
that are less well-known yet still have ardent devotees. In fact, these little-known languages
generally have the most fanatic admirers. Listed below are some of these obscure languages:
SIMPLE is an acronym for Sheer Idiot's Mono-purpose Programming
Linguistic Environment. This language, developed at the Hanover College for
Technological Misfits, was designed to make it impossible to write code with errors
in it. The statements are therefore confined to BEGIN, END, and STOP. No matter how you
arrange the statements, you can't make a syntax error.
Programs wriiten in SIMPLE do nothing useful. Thus, they achieve the results of
programs written in other languages without the tedious, frustrating process of
testing and debugging.
SLOBOL is best known for the speed, or lack of it, of its compiler.
Although many compilers allow you to take a coffee break while they compile,
SLOBOL compilers allow you to take a trip to Bolivia to pick up the coffee.
Forty-three programmers are known to have died of boredorm while waiting
for a SNOBOL program to compile. Weary SNOBOL programmers often turn to a related
(but infinitely faster) language, COCAINE.
From its modest beginnings in southern California's San Fernando Valley, VALGOL
is enjoying a dramatic surge of popularity across the industry.
VALGOL commands include REALLY, LIKE, WELL, and Y$KNOW. Variables are
assigned with the =LIKE and =TOTALLY operators. Other operators include the
"CALIFONIA BOOLEANS": FERSURE and NOWAY. Repetitions of code are handled in
FOR-SURE loops. Here is a sample VALGOL program:
14 LIKE, Y$KNOW (I MEAN) START
PI A =LIKE BITCHEN AND
01 B =LIKE TUBULAR AND
9 C =LIKE GRODY**MAX
4I FOR I =LIKE 1 TO OH MAYBE 100
86 DO WAH + (DITTY**2)
9 BARF(I) =TOTALLY GROSS(OUT)
1F LIKE BAG THIS PROGRAM
$$ LIKE TOTALLY (Y$KNOW)
VALGOL is characterized by its unfriendly error messages. For example,
when the user makes a syntax error, the interpreter displays the message,
"GAG ME WITH A SPOON!"
Historically, VALGOL is a derivative of LAIDBACK, which was developed at the (now
defunct) Marin County Center for T'ai Chi, Mellowness, and Computer Programming, as
an alternative to the more intense atmosphere in nearby Silicon Valley.
The center was ideal for programmers who liked to soak in hot tubs while the y worked.
Unfortunately, few programmers could survive there for long, since the center
outlawed pizza and RC Cola in favor of bean curd and Perrier.
Many mourn the demise of LAIDBACK because of its reputation as a gentle language.
For example, LAIDBACK responded to syntax errors with the message, "SORRY MAN,
I CAN'T DEAL WITH THAT."
Named after the late existential philosopher, SARTRE is an extremely
unstructured language. Statements in SARTRE have no purpose:
they just are there. Thus, SARTRE programs are left to define
their own functions. SARTRE programmers tend to be boring and
depressed and are no fun at parties.
FIFTH is a precision mathematical language in which the data types refer to
quantity. The data types range from CC, OUNCE, SHOT, and JIGGER to
FIFTH (hence the name of the language), LITER, MAGNUM, and BLOTTO.
Command refer to ingrdients such as CHABLIS, CHARDONNAY, CABERNET, GIN, VERMOUTH,
VODKA,SCOTCH, and WHATEVERSAROUND.
The many versions of the FIFTH language reflect the sophistication and financial
status of its users. Commands in the ELITE dialect include VSOP and LAFITE,
while commands in the GUTTER dialect include HOOTCH and RIPPLE. The latter
is a favorite of frustrated FORTH programmers who end up using the language.
This language was named for the grade received by its creator when he
submitted it as a class project in a graduate programming class.
C- is best described as a "low-level" programming language. In fact,
the language generally requires more C- statements than machine-code
statements to execute a given task. In this respect, it is very similar to
This otherwise unremarkable language is distinguished by the absence of an "s" in its
character set. Programmers and users must substitute "TH". LITHP is
thaid to be utheful in prothething lithtth.
Developed at the Massachussetts Institute of Obedience Training, DOGO heralds
a new era of computer-literate pets. DOGO commands include SIT, STAY, HEEL,
and ROLL OVER. An innovative feature of DOGO is "PUPPIE GRAPHICS", in
which a bassett hound leaves a small deposit as he travels across the screen.