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Oulipian Code (markwolff.name)
32 points by benbreen on Jan 21, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 13 comments

Aww, what a shame. I thought that it would be code written itself according to Oulipian principles, rather than merely code written to generate Oulipian literature.

I thought the same. Perhaps we can think of a way to do it? The only thing coming to mind is either using a markov chain or a char-RNN to generate code files. The latter has been done here: http://karpathy.github.io/2015/05/21/rnn-effectiveness/

If you find a way to do this, please let me know. For bonus points you should follow Roubaud's principle whereby the code "speaks" about its own algorithms.

Ohh, in that case, we could train the LSTM only with code that was used to generate it. Unfortunately, I think that's just not enough data to get interesting results. Maybe we could train it on multiple different kinds of implementations of LSTMs, but that may or may not be cheating...

You're thinking of it much more high-poweredly than I (praise, not criticism!). I meant something simple, like (by analogy with La Disparition) trying to write code without using the letter 'e'.

In that vein, perhaps one can view code golf as a sort of programming analogue of Oulipo—or maybe even functional programming (try to write code without using mutation!).

Oh yes, those experiments would have been fun. But let me explain what I had in mind.

Potential Literature is about finding meaning in things. Meaning is human-made anyways, so anyone can find meaning in the most random of things. Having a randomly-generated, but still structured, text can allow for new meaning to come through. Think SubredditSimulator - generating random stuff, and letting the users find/create meaning for it.

Sadly, yaourt comes up empty-handed for all "APL" related searches – I have no interpreter on Archlinux. I also don't speak French, but I guess that's not really the point. Lastly, the linked file is byte code, which would be suspicious if I were the paranoid type, but since I'm not is only a bit annoying – I want to read the code!

I'm not sure how easily interconvertible they are (and http://www.jsoftware.com/papers/j4apl.htm suggests: "considerably, but not trivially"); but, as far as I know, APL per se is mostly gone from the modern computing world, with J its free successor: http://jsoftware.com .

You can read the code! There are PDF files for the functions and variables.

My mistake – thanks for the correction!

Also relevant by Paul Braffort:

ALAMO, the computer branch of Oulipo


"Un temps pour l'enfance, un temps pour la mort, un temps pour l'enfance de la mort".

This one is golden. "A time for childhood, a time for death, a time for death's childhood".

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