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THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #13 -- SLOBOL
SLOBOL is best known for the speed, or lack of it, of its compiler.
Although many compilers allow you to take a coffee break while they compile,
SLOBOL compilers allow you to travel to Bolivia to pick the beans. Forty-
three programmers are known to have died of boredom sitting at their terminals
while waiting for a SLOBOL program to compile. Weary SLOBOL programmers
often turn to a related (but infinitely faster) language, COCAINE.
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THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #14 -- VALGOL
VALGOL is enjoying a dramatic surge of popularity across the
industry. VALGOL commands include REALLY, LIKE, WELL, and Y*KNOW.
Variables are assigned with the =LIKE and =TOTALLY operators. Other
operators include the "California booleans", AX and NOWAY. Loops are
accomplished with the FOR SURE construct. A simple example:
LIKE, Y*KNOW(I MEAN)START
IF PIZZA =LIKE BITCHEN AND
GUY =LIKE TUBULAR AND
VALLEY GIRL =LIKE GRODY**MAX(FERSURE)**2
FOR I =LIKE 1 TO OH*MAYBE 100
DO*WAH - (DITTY**2); BARF(I)=TOTALLY GROSS(OUT)
LIKE, BAG THIS PROGRAM; REALLY; LIKE TOTALLY(Y*KNOW); IM*SURE
GOTO THE MALL
VALGOL is also characterized by its unfriendly error messages. For
example, when the user makes a syntax error, the interpreter displays the
message GAG ME WITH A SPOON! A successful compile may be termed MAXIMALLY
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THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #17 -- DOGO
Developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Obedience Training, DOGO
DOGO heralds a new era of computer-literate pets. DOGO commands include
SIT, STAY, HEEL, and ROLL OVER. An innovative feature of DOGO is "puppy
graphics", a small cocker spaniel that occasionally leaves a deposit as
it travels across the screen.
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THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #17 -- SARTRE
Named after the late existential philosopher, SARTRE is an extremely
unstructured language. Statements in SARTRE have no purpose; they just are.
Thus SARTRE programs are left to define their own functions. SARTRE
programmers tend to be boring and depressed, and are no fun at parties.
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THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #18 -- C-
This language was named for the grade received by its creator when
he submitted it as a class project in a graduate programming class. C- is
best described as a "low-level" programming language. In fact, the language
generally requires more C- statements than machine-code statements to execute
a given task. In this respect, it is very similar to COBOL.
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THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #18 -- FIFTH
FIFTH is a precision mathematical language in which the data types
refer to quantity. The data types range from CC, OUNCE, SHOT, and JIGGER to
FIFTH (hence the name of the language), LITER, MAGNUM and BLOTTO. Commands
refer to ingredients such as CHABLIS, CHARDONNAY, CABERNET, GIN, VERMOUTH,
VODKA, SCOTCH, BOURBON, and WHATEVERSAROUND.
The many versions of the FIFTH language reflect the sophistication and
financial status of its users. Commands in the ELITE dialect include VSOP and
LAFITE, while commands in the GUTTER dialect include HOOTCH, THUNDERBIRD,
RIPPLE and HOUSERED. The latter is a favorite of frustrated FORTH programmers
who end up using this language.
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THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #5 -- LAIDBACK
LAIDBACK was developed at the (now defunct) Marin County Center for
T'ai Chi, Mellowness and Computer Programming, as an alternative to the more
intense languages of nearby Silicon Valley.
The Center was ideal for programmers who liked to soak in hot tubs
while they worked. Unfortunately, few programmers could survive there long,
since the Center outlawed pizza and RC Cola in favor of bean curd and Perrier.
Many mourn the demise of LAIDBACK because of its reputation as a
gentle and nonthreatening language. For example, LAIDBACK responded to
syntax errors with the message SORRY MAN, I JUST CAN'T DEAL BEHIND THAT.
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The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them.
-- Lenny Bruce
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The life which is unexamined is not worth living.
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The light of a hundred stars does not equal the light of the moon.