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The Folder programming language is an esoteric programming language by User:Rdococ which has many interpreters already, like Windows Explorer, Finder, Nautilus and so on.
A Folder program contains states - which are subfolders, which themselves contain transitions - shortcuts or symlinks, depending on the compiler used - to other states. Usually, in the Folder program, all states are hidden and there is a direct shortcut to the starting state.
The computational class of the Folder programming language is equal to that of a finite state automaton. Discuss it here, if you think you might be able to prove otherwise.
Embedding non-linear media like programs in a Folder program is allowed, but actually interacting with that media just means that you've used Folder to start a program in a different programming language.
Any user can open one of the transitions - hard links or symlinks - to send input to the program. This may change the state the program is in.
A Folder program can use a variety of methods to send output to the user -- the name of the state is shown in most interpreters, but if that won't cut it, you can embed Text programs in a state, which you can use to your advantage to add detailed descriptions of the state the program is in. If you really want to get complicated, you can put in a movie or media file - but be aware that the user will have to open the file to see and hear the media. This is a good thing, because cutscenes in a game can be annoying, and if the user knows what's happening, he can skip them.
To run a Folder program, all you need to do is to open it in your favorite file browser, and open the shortcut to the starting program state!
Some Folder programs are compiled as compressed folders rather than regular folders - these utilize the ability of certain compression formats to create recursive folders that loop onto themselves. Under any circumstances, do not try to extract these - it may fill up your hard drive.
These are text formatted hierarchies of Folder programs.
- unlock (=> opened)
- lock (=> closed)
- start (=> closed)