When we think of programming languages, it is often the same terms that come up all the time, namely Java, C, C ++, Python, etc. But there is also a whole universe of languages ​​very little known, because very little used: the so-called exotic languages. They were invented by computer scientists to test certain limits, to accomplish an intellectual challenge or, quite simply, to have a good laugh. They only exist, ultimately, for the beauty of things. But beware, these are not languages ​​on the cheap. They are all ” Turing complete “And thus allow, in theory, to write any program. You still have to want to …


Equipped with data structures, operators and control structures, it is somewhat the archetype of the exotic language. Created in 1972 by two Princeton students, it is a parody of a programming language that mocks some notations and constructions of the 1960s. The result is intentionally cryptic, redundant and unnecessary. For example, the programmer should regularly use the keyword “PLEASE” which is functionally equivalent to “DO”. If there is not enough, the code is considered rude by the compiler, and will therefore be rejected. Too many “PLEASE” lead to the same result, because obsequiousness is also banished.


No more heaviness and complexity. Created by Urban Müller in 1993, Brainfuck is meant to be simplistic. This language has only eight instructions, represented by eight special characters. The compiler weighs only 170 bytes. It relies on a pointer that moves over an array of 30,000 boxes, each encoded in 8 bits. But simplistic does not mean easy to read, because the code that we get turns out to be particularly obscure.


Released in 2003, Whitespace pushes the plug even further. It allows you to create code that is invisible to the naked eye, which is … not at all practical. Indeed, this language only uses three characters: space, tab and newline. They allow you to write lines of instruction similar to assembler, where you manipulate stacks and heaps of data. Whitespace is certainly a joke, but would still have some educational value, some experts believe. Which one, we do not know exactly …


Created in 1993, Piet is a language where code appears as a GIF made up of groups of pixels called “codels”. A pointer goes through these codels and, depending on the change in hue and brightness, will generate instructions on a data stack (addition, subtraction, multiplication, stacking, unstacking, etc.). The challenge is obviously to create programs with a certain aesthetic quality, like this “Hello world! »Particularly colorful and refreshing. You could almost use it to decorate your living room.

Shakespeare Programming Language

Created in 2001 by Karl Hasselström and Jon Aslund, the Shakespeare Programming Language allows you to write computer code that looks like a play. Characters are variables that are initialized at the start of the play, and their cues are attributes and instructions. A noun is usually worth +1, unless it is not beautiful and in that case it is -1. Each adjective doubles the bet. So “A charming cute golden flower and the silly beggar” worth 23 x 1+ 2 x (-1) = 6. Data output is via the key phrase “Open your heart” or “Speak your mind”. A data entry is based on the reverse sentence “Listen to your heart” or “Open your mind”. And to store a variable in memory, we write “Remember me”. Easy? That is the question.

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