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Show HN: Blank – A stack-based programming language I wrote 21 years ago (esolangs.org)
73 points by aturley on April 11, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments



I wrote Blank back in the spring of 1997 when I was a senior in high school. I had gotten kind of into a programming language called Befunge (https://esolangs.org/wiki/Befunge), and I decided to write my own weird programming language. I'll admit that it was highly derivative of Befunge, but I threw in my own little twists. For example, Befunge programs were written and executed in a fixed 2 dimentional grid, while my language was 1 dimensional and you could add and remove segments from the program. It was the first C program of any size that I had ever written.

Blank lacks the inspired audacity of languages like Brainfuck and Whitespace. It has almost none of the playfulness of Befunge. Missing, too, is the outright user-hostily of INTERCAL. It was bad, but so mediocre in its badness that it wasn't really worth remembering for most people. But it was mine.

I had never taken a programming class and I'd never really had any sort of adult who could help me much with programming at that time, so this was basically something that I did through sheer stupid stubbornness. The folks on the Befunge mailing list were nice to me and were very polite in the face of my teenage ignorance and over-confidence. In retrospect I probably could have spent the time doing something better, but one of the wonderful things about being young is that you can waste some time exploring.


I aplogize if it's mentioned in the wiki, but do you still have the source code?


Sadly no, lost to the dusts of time.


> I probably could have spent the time doing something better, but one of the wonderful things about being young is that you can waste some time exploring.

That’s awesome, be proud!


This is what I miss about my earlier years. Idly exploring is the most enjoyable way of learning, it is very rare I find that sort of free time these days.


Just a heads up, the esolang wiki's link to the Blank homepage redirects to the front page of onet.pl.



Thanks for posting this. I was looking at adding some form of simple flow control to my stack based texture maker. http://fingswotidun.com/stackie

This gives me a good insight into how to go.


Oh, me too! I wrote this 8 years ago: https://esolangs.org/wiki/BAM128

Although it's much less impressive than Blank :)


Not nearly as interesting, but I've written a silly version of brainfuck in the past where you used the command line arguments to write your program: https://github.com/cadadr/configuration/blob/master/bin/optf...


It looks pretty cool ... I tried to follow the link to the homepage (for the documentation) but it appears to be gone.




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