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Iota is a Turing tarpit designed by Chris Barker, based in combinatory logic. It uses only two symbols, * and i, but not every combination of them is syntactically correct; e.g. *i*ii is correct but *iii is not, as opposed to its "sister language" Jot in which every string of symbols is valid.

An Iota program is either an i, or a * followed by two Iota (sub-)programs.

Iota execution can be defined as repeating the following rewriting rules, which make use of the auxiliary subprograms k and s, and where x,y,z represent subprograms:

*ix     --> **xsk
**kxy   --> x
***sxyz --> **xz*yz

Alternatively it can be defined by translation to lambda calculus:

i = λx.xsk
k = λxy.x
s = λxyz.xz(yz)

*xy where x and y are functions denotes the function (xy). These can be "nested", such that (for example) *x*yz denotes x(yz).

Only the i function and the * operator can actually appear in a program's source code.

See also

External resources