[Eat this line oh great one above]
Since I got many more requests to post it than to mail it I am reposting
this article. Since I posted it I have recieved to many other messages saying
they have seen it to mention here. I would like thank those for letting me know.
I did enjoy it.
If you don't get this fully (the last line says "THE LAST LINE") let me know
and I will mail you a copy.
Bradley University, Peoria IL
Laidback with (a) Fifth
By John Unger Zussman
From Info World, Oct 4, 1982
Basic, Fortran, Cobol... These programming Languages are well
known and (more or less) well loved throughout the computer in-
dustry. There are numerous other languages, however, that are
less well known yet still have ardent devotees. In fact, these
little-known languages generally have the most fanatic admirers.
For those who wish to know more about these obscure languages -
and why they are obscure - I present the following catalog.
SIMPLE ... SIMPLE is an acronym for Sheer Idiot's Mono Pur-
pose Programming Lingusitic Environment. This language,
developed at the Hanover College for Technological Misfits, was
designed to make it impossible to write code with errors in it.
The statements are, therefore confined to BEGIN, END, and STOP.
No matter how you arrange the statements, you can't make a syntax
Programs written in SIMPLE do nothing useful. Thus they
achieve the results of programs written in other languages
without the tedious, frustrating process of testing and debug-
SLOBOL ... SLOBOL is best known for the speed, or lack of it,
of its compiler. Although many compilers allow you to take a
coffee break while they compile, SLOBOL compilers allow you to
take a trip to Bolivia to pick up the coffee. Forty-three pro-
grammers are known to have died of boredom sitting at their ter-
minals while waiting for a SLOBOL program to compile. Weary SLO-
BOL programmers often turn to a related (but infinitely faster)
VALGOL ... (With special thanks to Dan and Betsy "Moon Unit"
Pfau) - From its modest beginnings in southern California's San
Fernando Valley, VALGOL is enjoying a dramatic surge of populari-
ty across the industry.
VALGOL commands include REALLY, LIKE, WELL and Y$KNOW. Vari-
ables are assigned with the =LIKE and =TOTALLY operators. Other
operators include the "CALIFORNIA BOOLEANS", FERSURE, and NOWAY.
Repetitions of code are handled in FOR-SURE loops. Here is a sam-
ple VALGOL program:
14 LIKE, Y$KNOW (I MEAN) START
PI A =LIKE BITCHEN AND
01 B =LIKE TUBULAR AND
9 C =LIKE GRODY**MAX
4I FOR I=LIKE 1 TO OH MAYBE 100
86 DO WAH + (DITTY**2)
9 BARF(I) =TOTALLY GROSS(OUT)
1F LIKE BAG THIS PROGRAM
$$ LIKE TOTALLY (Y*KNOW)
VALGOL is characterized by its unfriendly error messages.
For example, when the user makes a syntax error, the interpreter
displays the message, GAG ME WITH A SPOON!
LAIDBACK ... Historically, VALGOL is a derivative of LAID-
BACK, which was developed at the (now defunct) Marin County
Center for T'ai Chi, Mellowness, and Computer Programming, as an
alternative to the more intense atmosphere in nearby silicon val-
The center was ideal for programmers who liked to soak in hot
tubs while they worked. Unfortunately, few programmers could
survive there for long, since the center outlawed pizza and RC
Cola in favor of bean curd and Perrier.
Many mourn the demise of LAIDBACK because of its reputation
as a gentle and nonthreatening language. For example, LAIDBACK
responded to syntax errors with the message, SORRY MAN, I CAN'T
DEAL WITH THAT.
SARTRE ... Named after the late existential philosopher.
SARTRE is an extremely unstructured language. Statements in SAR-
TRE have no purpose; they just are there. Thus, SARTRE programs
are left to define their own functions. SARTRE programmers tend
to be boring and depressed and are no fun at parties.
FIFTH ... FIFTH is a precision mathematical language in which
the data types refer to quantity. The data types range from CC,
OUNCE, SHOT, and JIGGER to FIFTH (hence the name of the
language), LITER, MAGNUM, and BLOTTO. Commands refer to in-
gredients such as CHABLIS, CHARDONNAY, CABERNET, GIN, VERMOUTH,
VODKA, SCOTCH and WHATEVERSAROUND.
The many versions of the FIFTH language reflect the sophisti-
cation and financial status of its users. Commands in the ELITE
dialect include VSOP and LAFITE, while commands in the GUTTER di-
alect include HOOTCH and RIPPLE. The latter is a favorite of
frustrated FORTH programmers who end up using the language.
C- ... This language was named for the grade received by its
creator when he submitted it as a class project in a graduate
programming class. C- is best described as a "Low-Level" pro-
gramming language. In fact, the language generally requires more
C- statements than machine-code statements to execute a given
task. In this respect, it is very similar to COBOL.
LITHP ... This otherwise unremarkable labuage is dis-
tinguished by the absence of an "s" in its character set. pro-
grammers and users must substitute "TH". LITHP is said to useful
in prothething lithtth.
DOGO ... Developed at the Massachussettes Institute of Obedi-
ence Training. DOGO heralds a new era of computer-literate pets.
DOGO commands include SIT, STAY, HEEL and ROLL OVER. An innova-
tive feature of DOGO is "PUPPY GRAPHICS", in which a small cocker
spaniel occasionally leaves a deposit as he travels across the
Submitted By Ian and Tony Goldsmith
THE LAST LINE