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Warning: Strange Coding Languages Ahead!

March 6, 2020

Get ready to have your mind blown with some of the most bizarre coding languages ever! You’ve been warned!

If you’re a programmer, you know how frustrating it can be to spend hours fixing a bug that should just work. You get stuck in a state that feels like you have absolutely no idea of what you’re doing, as if you’re trying – and failing – to use a foreign language.


If this sounds familiar, then what you’re about to read is likely just what you’re after. Esoteric programming languages – or esolang for short – don’t serve any purpose other than giving people a bit of fun.


Without further ado, let’s get to our list of some of the strangest coding languages ever created – with examples!


Ook!


Using some of these languages feels like you’re just banging away at the keyboard and Ook! is the one that does that job the best. You only use three syntax elements with this coding language:

  • Ook.
  • Ook?
  • Ook!


Can’t picture how it might look like? Check the examples below:


Ook - Coding Language


Piet


Are you a fine-art lover? If so, you’ll love this one. Piet is a coding language inspired by the abstract artist Piet Mondrian. It converts programs into abstract geometric paintings, the programmes being made up of 20 different colours which are then read by the compiler based on HEX values to run it.


Remember the typical “Hello world!” phrase used when we’re just starting to learn how to programme? This is what it looks like in Piet:


Piet - Coding Language


LOLCODE


From this language’s very name, you can expect that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. LOLCODE uses LOLCats syntax to make programs run. Apparently… We’re not too sure.


Here’s a sample of LOLCODE for your enjoyment:


LOLCODE


Surprisingly, though, LOLCODE grabbed the attention of the programming community and LOLCODE is implemented in many coding languages like PHP, Python, Perl, .NET and Java. LOL!


Befunge


Chris Pressey created Befunge with the devilish goal of it being as difficult to compile as possible. The code is laid out on a two-dimensional grid of instructions and execution can proceed in any direction of that grid.


It’s believed that Befunge is the first two-dimensional, ASCII-based, general-purpose programming language and “Hello world!” looks like this written on it:


Befunge


reMorse


This one is intended to look like Morse code. No surprises there. Visions of submarines and telegrams come to mind with this simple yet challenging language.


It might be a tad difficult side for those of us who aren’t amateur radio specialists. You know it’s a pain to programme when the author of the language won’t finish all of the basic example because it’s just too complex.


Hello world!


reMorse - Coding Language


Whenever


Imagine a teenager as a programming language and you’ve got yourself Whenever. This is a simple language that does what it wants, when it wants. A teenager, see?


Don’t fool yourself – you just can’t control a Whenever program. Imagine how hard this makes programming something like “99 Bottles of Beer”. The program would return something that read like it had already consumed all 99!


Whenever - Coding Language


I33t


Most of us probably went through a phase when our text messages were barely readable, complete with the lack of punctuation and strange characters for whatever purpose we saw fit. Well, I33t isn’t too far from that, really. In fact, we’re pretty sure that some of you probably texted like this during your teenage years.


Hello world!


I33t


I33t doesn’t have any real-life use, though. Imagine delivering software written in this language. It almost sounds comedic!


This was one crazy ride - but it doesn’t end there. There are thousands of esolangs that make absolutely no sense, but we must admit that they’re quite funny to look at or use thanks to their, well, nonsense.


Check out the esolangs wiki to see more examples!