THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #2: RENE
Named after the famous French philosopher and mathematician Rene DesCartes,
RENE is a language used for artificial intelligence. The language is being
developed at the Chicago Center of Machine Politics and Programming under
a grant from the Jane Byrne Victory Fund. A spokesman described the language
as "Just as great as dis [sic] city of ours."
The center is very pleased with progress to date.
They say they have almost succeeded in getting a VAX to think. However,
sources inside the organization say that each time the machine fails to
think it ceases to exist.
THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #5: VALGOL
From its modest beginnings in Southern California's San Fernando Valley,
VALGOL is enjoying a dramatic surge of popularity across the industry.
Here is a sample program:
LIKE, Y*KNOW(I MEAN)START
IF PIZZA = LIKE BITCHEN AND GUY = LIKE TUBULAR
VALLEY GIRL = LIKE GRODY**MAX(FERSURE)**2 THEN
FOR I = LIKE 1 TO OH*MAYBE 100
DO*WAH - (DITTY**2)
LIKE BAG THIS PROGRAM
LIKE TOTALLY (Y*KNOW)
GOTO THE MALL
When the user makes a syntax error, the interpreter displays the message:
GAG ME WITH A SPOON!!
THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #8: LAIDBACK
This language was developed at the Marin County Center for T'ai Chi, Mellowness
and Computer Programming (now defunct), 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 they worked. Unfortunately few programmers
could survive there because the center outlawed Pizza and Coca-Cola in
favor of Tofu and Perrier.
Many mourn the demise of LAIDBACK because of its reputation as a gentle
and non-threatening language since all error messages are in lower case.
For example, LAIDBACK responded to syntax errors with the message: "i hate
to bother you, but i just can't relate to that. can you find the time to
try it again?"
THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #10 -- SIMPLE
SIMPLE is an acronym for Sheer Idiot's Monopurpose Programming Language
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
written 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.
THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #12 -- LITHP
This otherwise unremarkable language is distinguished by the absence of
an "S" in its character set; users must substitute "TH". LITHP is said
to be useful in protheththing lithtth.
THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #13 -- SLOBOL
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 travel to Bolivia to pick the coffee. Forty-three
programmers are known to have died of boredom sitting at their terminals
while waiting for a SLOBOL program to compile. Weary SLOBOL programmers
often turn to a related (but infinitely faster) language, COCAINE.
THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #17 -- SARTRE
Named after the late existential philosopher, SARTRE is an extremely unstructured
language. Statements in SARTRE have no purpose; they just are. Thus SARTRE
programs are left to define their own functions. SARTRE programmers tend
to be boring and depressed, and are no fun at parties.
THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #18 -- C-
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 COBOL.
THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #19 -- FIFTH
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. Commands refer
to ingredients 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 this language.
main humour page.