Someone should build a web site where you select a bunch of options:

  • Dynamic or static?
  • Strongly or weakly typed?
  • Functional or OO?
  • Block markers or semantic whitespace?
  • Automatic or manual memory allocation?
  • UTF-8 or legacy crap?
  • What index is the first element of an array?
  • Immutable or mutable variables?

…and click a button, and it spits out a skeleton programming language for you.

Some days it seems like someone must already have done so.

Not that I want to go back to the days when there were only a handful of languages anyone used, and almost everything was C or C++. In a way we’ve entered a golden age of new language experimentation.

2 thoughts on “YAFPL

  1. For years I’ve wanted a programming language framework that achieves two aims:

    1) An overarching structure for delimiting and nesting blocks of code written in a particular idiom, independent of any of those idioms.

    2) Per-user syntax definitions, so one developer can be using semantic whitespace, another K&R, another Allman.

    That would let people live in peace and harmony within the same source file in some of your respects, but if people want array indices that don’t start at zero there’s no hope for them. (-8

  2. In the days of classic Mac OS, AppleScript tried to do that. You could write your code in German AppleScript (with German language keywords and German grammar), and then someone else could open it up in US AppleScript and see all the keywords in English with English grammar.

    In practice, it was horrible.

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