Less-Known Computer Languages
programming languages are well
known and (more or less) well
loved throughout the computer
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.
For those who wish to know more
about these obscure languages -
and why they are obscure - I
present the following catalog.
SIMPLE ... SIMPLE is an acronym
for Sheer Idiot's Mono Purpose
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.
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 take
a trip to Bolivia to pick up the
coffee. Forty-three programmers
are known to have died of boredom
sitting at their terminals while
waiting for a SLOBOL program to
Weary SLOBOL programmers often turn
to a related (but infinitely
VALGOL ... (With special thanks to
Dan and Betsy "Moon Unit" Pfau)
- 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 YAKNOW. Variables
are assigned with the =LIKE and
=TOTALLY operators.Other operators
include the "CALIFORNIA BOOLEANS"
FERSURE and NOWAY. Repetitions of
code are handled in FOR-SURE loops.
Here is a sample VALGOL program
. 14 LIKE-YAKNOW (I MEAN) START
. %% IF
. PI A =LIKE BITCHEN AND
. 01 B =LIKE TUBULAR AND
. 9 C =LIKE GRODY**MAX
. 4K (FERSURE)**2
. 18 THEN
. 4I FOR I=LIKE 1 TO OH MAYBE 100
. 86 DO WAH + (DITTY**2)
. 9 BARF(I) =TOTALLY GROSS(OUT)
. -17 SURE
. 1F LIKE BAG THIS PROGRAM
. ? REALLY
. $$ 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
LAIDBACK ... 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 analternative 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
for long since the center outlawed
pizza and RC Cola in favor of bean
curd and Perrier.
Many mourn the demise of LAIDBACK
because its reputation as a
gentle and nonthreatening language.
For example LAIDBACK responded to
syntax errors with the message
SORRY MAN I CAN'T DEAL WITH THAT.
SARTRE ... Named after the late
existential philosopher.SARTRE is
an extremely unstructured
language. Statements in SARTRE have
no purpose they are just 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 ... 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-
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.
C-...This language was named
for the grade received by its
creater when he submitted it
as a class project in a
graduate programming class.
C- is best described as a
'Low Level' programming
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.
LITHP ... This otherwise
unremarkable language is
distinguished by the absence
of an "s" in its character set.
Programmers and users must
substitute"TH". LITHP is said to
be useful in prothething lithtth.
DOGO ... Developed at the
Massachussettes 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
'PUPPY GRAPHICS' in which a small
cocker spaniel occasionally leaves
a deposit as he travels across