Talk:Timeline of esoteric programming languages

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What languages are notable? For example, is Gammaplex notable? --Aardwolf 16:00, 1 Nov 2005 (GMT)

Anything that attracted a great deal of outside interest, introduced a wholly new concept, or inspired prolonged controversy. Gammaplex is only novel in its ability to do mouse input and graphics -- not a language issue. --Graue 16:09, 1 Nov 2005 (GMT)
I think we should include a complete listing of languages created each year at the bottom of the each section for languages not notable enough to be further mentioned. Something like this:
Brainfuck, Befunge, PATH, Wierd
--Rune 16:32, 1 Nov 2005 (GMT)
Nah, that would require reproducing all of Language list and Category:Languages. No sense doing that. --Graue 15:12, 2 Nov 2005 (GMT)
How about a "featured language" for each year? --Ihope127 13:27, 3 Nov 2005 (GMT)
I wouldn't mind having all the languages there, but it would add to the number of pages that has to be updated for each language. That's why I originally proposed the year categories so we could generate such a page automatically (only need to add one category to the language article), but I guess nobody else wants those (at least not enough to say so) except me and Stux. --Rune 13:43, 3 Nov 2005 (GMT)
I'll second (or third :-) the idea of year categories. --Safalra 10:31, 4 Nov 2005 (GMT)
Alright, I'll add my vote for year categories --Aardwolf 10:50, 4 Nov 2005 (GMT)
This is not the place to discuss categories. Please see Esolang talk:Categorization. --Graue 18:17, 4 Nov 2005 (GMT)

I hesitate it add it (since I came up with it), but BitChanger predates SmallF** by 2 years. Perhaps it is worth a mention?

More extensive history

This article isn't complete yet. It mentions the first languages and the introduction of new theoretical concepts, while there are also concepts like weirdness and thematic languages. There's not really mentioned anything about when this kind of esoteric language first got introduced. In this respect, for example Piet is quite notable as one of the first non textual languages. Also some theoretical concepts like reversible languages aren't mentioned.

The title sounds like it could be a real timeline of esoteric languages, which I imagine as a commented list of languages by date. The advantage of having a list of languages by date (along with the one in alphabetical order) is that it shows a sort of evolution.

Currently this article is something in between a list by date and an extensive history. Maybe two articles, namely a simple list by date, and an extensive History Of Esoteric Languages could be interesting. Such an extensive history could also cover things like how the internet helped esolangs spread and the academic interest.

Also, the page Esoteric_programming_language links to this page saying "See the Timeline of esoteric programming languages for a chronological listing of esoteric programming languages". But "chronological listing of esoteric programming languages" is promising a little bit too much at this time, as there's only a small fraction mentioned.

Not going to edit anything myself yet, just posting my 2 cents.

--Aardwolf 22:07, 10 Nov 2006 (UTC)


The AS/400 (the ultimate CISC) might qualify as an unintentionally esoteric computer architecture. It has transcendental math, iconv, malloc/realloc/free, (almost) sprintf, mark-and-sweep garbage collection, compression, and encryption, as single assembly instructions. It has 128-bit segmented pointers (which are bit patterns but not integers), EBCDIC characters, no (visible) registers, hardware malloc() instead of a stack for function arguments/local variables, and trap representations. It's what inspired the majority of weird things in the C standard like the undefined behavior about pointer arithmetic ("one past the end of the last array") and casting (data pointers, function pointers, and integers can't be cast to one another on the AS/400). It's one of the few architectures that needs va_end() because va_lists are implemented using malloc and must be freed. On the AS/400, the letters 'A' to 'Z' (and 'a' to 'z') are not at contiguous code points. There's a single level store (no distinction between RAM and disk) and files are segments too. Pointers can be copied with memcpy (which, like most of <string.h>, is also an assembly instruction), but the simpler cpybytes instruction doesn't copy pointers because pointers have special metadata (not part of the pointer) that marks them as valid. Compared to most assembly languages/CPU architectures, the AS/400 is definitely esoteric. Ian 02:19, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

This is great. —ehird 06:46, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
I found this article: A Close Study of i5/OS Machine Interface (MI) Pointers. On the AS/400, pointers are strongly typed and strings are scalars (so instructions that work on arrays work on arrays of strings too). The same math instructions can work on pointers to any type of numeric data (binary, decimal, floats, EBCDIC decimal strings, or decimal floats) depending on the type of pointer. I've also heard that printf("%p") on the AS/400 is really unusual because it prints information about the type of pointer and the name of the segment instead of a number. There are also instructions for time and time calculations, threads, mutexes, atoi/atof, itoa/dtoa, (almost) sscanf, and nonvolatile storage. Ian 10:06, 13 August 2011 (UTC)