Strange Code: Esoteric Languages That Make Programming Fun Again (Paperback)

Strange Code: Esoteric Languages That Make Programming Fun Again By Ronald T. Kneusel Cover Image

Strange Code: Esoteric Languages That Make Programming Fun Again (Paperback)


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Strengthen your overall coding skills by exploring the wonderful, wild, and often weird world of esoteric languages (esolangs).

Strange Code starts with a dive into the underlying history of programming, covering the early computer-science concepts, like Turing machines and Turing completeness, that led to the languages we use today. It then explores the realm of “atypical” programming languages, introducing you to the out-of-the-box thinking that comes from these unusual approaches to coding. 

Later chapters address the even more unusual esolangs, nearly all of which are like nothing you’ve ever seen. Finally, author Ron Kneusel helps you develop and use two entirely new programming languages. You may not apply these languages in your day job, but this one-of-a-kind book will motivate you to think differently about what it means to express thought through code, while discovering the far-flung boundaries of programming.
You’ll learn:
  • How to program with pictures using Piet
  • How to write two-dimensional programs in Befunge
  • How to implement machine-learning algorithms using the text pattern matching language SNOBOL
  • How to decipher Brainfuck code like [->-[>+>>]>[[-<+>]+>+>>]<<<<<]
  • How to design and create two original programming languages
    Learning to think in these languages will make you a better, more confident programmer.
    A programming language enthusiast, Ronald T. Kneusel’s experience with programming languages began circa 1980 when he first encountered an Apple II computer. Decades later, he completed a PhD in machine learning from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and now works in the industry developing deep learning systems. He is the author of Practical Deep Learning: A Python-Based Introduction (No Starch Press), Math for Deep Learning (No Starch Press), Numbers and Computers (Springer), and Random Numbers and Computers (Springer).
    Product Details ISBN: 9781718502406
    ISBN-10: 1718502400
    Publisher: No Starch Press
    Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
    Pages: 496
    Language: English
    "A fascinating and thought-provoking tour through programming languages. Strange Code guides you through some mostly forgotten languages—such as Forth, SNOBOL, and CLIPS—before exploring more experimental languages—such as Piet—where your source code is an image. I particularly enjoyed Firefly, a language for the BBC micro:bit, created especially for the book."
    —Sean McManus, Author of Mission Python: Code a Space Adventure Game!

    "[Gives] a grounding in the basics of concepts like Turing Completeness without leaving readers to fend for themselves in a forest of of dense computer science arcana. As a reference and source for teachers, Strange Code has much to commend it."
    —Terry Freedman, Teach Secondary magazine