Flip

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Flip is a two-dimensional esoteric programming language designed by Rune Zedeler and Erik Søe Sørensen. Computation is performed by balls carrying values colliding with playfield elements; it has been described as "a little like a game of billiards, if you play Programmers' Billiards." The only other data storage mechanism is the possibility to self-modifyingly flip diagonal walls (called "flippers") - similarily to how the much newer BackFlip operates. Combined with elements which split and combine balls this requires rather than allows for multithreaded programming.

As of Flip 2.0 the board consists of infinitely many identical layers. There have been added instructions to move balls up and down between the layers.

Because the ball values are limited to 32 bit we are quite certain the Flip 1.0 was not Turing complete - even though we have not made a formal proof for this. Flip 2.0 is clearly Turing complete because the layers can be used to implement a stack by saving one ball (stack element) on each layer.

Flip was inspired by Wierd, but has more in common with multi-threaded Bloated SNUSP. Though, notice that Flip is two years older than SNUSP.

External resources

  • Flip Home Page, which contains a Java interpreter and sample programs.