\ˌɪntəkˈal], \ˌɪntəkˈal], \ˌɪ_n_t_ə_k_ˈa_l]\
Definitions of INTERCAL
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/in't*r-kal/ (Said by the authors to standfor "Compiler Language With No Pronounceable Acronym").Possibly the most elaborate and long-lived joke in the historyof programming languages. It was designed on 1972-05-26 byDon Woods and Jim Lyons at Princeton University.INTERCAL is purposely different from all other computerlanguages in all ways but one; it is purely a writtenlanguage, being totally unspeakable. The INTERCAL ReferenceManual, describing features of horrifying uniqueness, becamean underground classic. An excerpt will make the style of thelanguage clear:It is a well-known and oft-demonstrated fact that a personwhose work is incomprehensible is held in high esteem. Forexample, if one were to state that the simplest way to store avalue of 65536 in a 32-bit INTERCAL variable is: DO :1 <- #0$#256any sensible programmer would say that that was absurd. Sincethis is indeed the simplest method, the programmer would bemade to look foolish in front of his boss, who would of coursehave happened to turn up, as bosses are wont to do. Theeffect would be no less devastating for the programmer havingbeen correct.INTERCAL has many other peculiar features designed to make iteven more unspeakable. The Woods-Lyons implementation wasactually used by many (well, at least several) people atPrinceton.Eric S. Raymond wrote C-INTERCAL in1990 as a break from editing "The New Hacker's Dictionary",adding to it the first implementation of COME FROM under itsown name. The compiler has since been maintained and extendedby an international community of technomasochists and isconsequently enjoying an unprecedented level of unpopularity.The version 0.9 distribution includes the compiler, extensivedocumentation and a program library. C-INTERCAL is actuallyan INTERCAL-to-C source translator which then calls the localC compiler to generate a binary. The code is thus quiteportable.Intercal Resource Page(http://locke.ccil.org/~esr/intercal/).Usenet newsgroup: news:alt.lang.intercal.["The INTERCAL Programming Language Reference Manual", DonaldR. Woods & James M. Lyon].
By Denis Howe
Word of the day
- 34-amino acid polypeptide antibiotic produced by Streptococcus lactis. It has been used as a food preservative in canned fruits vegetables, and cheese.