New Community Website

Ordinarily, you'd be at the right spot, but we've recently launched a brand new community website... For the community, by the community.

Yay... Take Me to the Community!

The Community Blog is a personal opinion of community members and by no means the official standpoint of DNN Corp or DNN Platform. This is a place to express personal thoughts about DNNPlatform, the community and its ecosystem. Do you have useful information that you would like to share with the DNN Community in a featured article or blog? If so, please contact .

The use of the Community Blog is covered by our Community Blog Guidelines - please read before commenting or posting.

Language Wars: Conciseness to the extreme

NOTE: This post includes some funky spacing things so if it doesn't show up properly I'll try to fix it.

So I'm taking a short interlude with this post because I'm currently talking about dynamic languages, but my schedule has been a bit crazy and I thought this language would make an interesting (though mostly useless) topic.

Brainf**k is a Turing-complete language implemented with 8 symbols: ">", "<", "+", "-", ".", ",", "[", "]". This means that it is "theoretically capable of computing any computable function or simulating any other computational model, if given an unlimited memory store"  [Wikipedia]. However, it only uses 8 characters, so it tends to be a bit unreadable

What does it look like? Basically, any character except one of the 8 symbols (including whitespace) above is considered a comment. This makes it an extremely concise language.

BF (as it is commonly acronymed) programs run in a simple virtual machine that contains an array of 30,000 bytes, each one initialized to zero and a single pointer that can point to a slot in that array initialized to point to the first element in the array. The commands have the following meanings:

Character - Meaning
  • '>' - increment the pointer (to point to the next cell to the right).
  • '<' - decrement the pointer (to point to the next cell to the left).
  • '+' - increment (increase by one) the byte at the pointer.
  • '-' - decrement (decrease by one) the byte at the pointer.
  • '.' (dot) - output the value of the byte at the pointer.
  • ',' (comma) - accept one byte of input, storing its value in the byte at the pointer.
  • '[' - jump forward to the command after the corresponding ] if the byte at the pointer is zero.
  • ']' - jump back to the command after the corresponding [ if the byte at the pointer is nonzero.
(Source: Wikipedia)

If you are familiar with C, then these C equivalents may be more understandable (where 'ptr' is of type 'unsigned char*' and points to the first element in an array of 30,000 zeroed bytes)

brainf**k command - C equivalent
  • '>' - ++ptr;
  • '<' - --ptr;    
  • '+' - ++*ptr;
  • '-' - --*ptr;
  • '.' - putchar(*ptr);
  • ',' - *ptr=getchar();
  • '[' - while (*ptr) {
  • ']' - }
(Source: Wikipedia)

So, what does a BF program look like? Here's the hello world program:
[>+++++++>++++++++++>+++>+<<<<-] The initial loop to set up
useful values in the array
>++. Print 'H'
>+. Print 'e'
+++++++. Print 'l'
. Print 'l'
+++. Print 'o'
>++. Print ' '
<<+++++++++++++++. Print 'W'
>. Print 'o'
+++. Print 'r'
------. Print 'l'
--------. Print 'd'
>+. Print '!'
>. Print newline
Remember that only the 8 symbols are considered by the interpreter, so this program is equivalent to the one below which is in a more compact form:
So, why does anyone write programs in BF? Because they can! Writing programs in BF is purely a matter of pride, since they are quite inefficient (due to only having increment/decrement operations) and difficult to read. Some programmers even write BF interpreters when they are learning new languages because its so simple to write, but a little more complicated than a "Hello, World!" application.

Well, thats Brainf**k, an extremely concise and useless language *grin*. I'm hoping to get a post on Python out soon. Until next time, keep learning languages!


Comment Form

Only registered users may post comments.


Aderson Oliveira (22)
Alec Whittington (11)
Alessandra Davies (3)
Alex Shirley (10)
Andrew Hoefling (3)
Andrew Nurse (30)
Andy Tryba (1)
Anthony Glenwright (5)
Antonio Chagoury (28)
Ash Prasad (37)
Ben Schmidt (1)
Benjamin Hermann (25)
Benoit Sarton (9)
Beth Firebaugh (12)
Bill Walker (36)
Bob Kruger (5)
Bogdan Litescu (1)
Brian Dukes (2)
Brice Snow (1)
Bruce Chapman (20)
Bryan Andrews (1)
cathal connolly (55)
Charles Nurse (163)
Chris Hammond (213)
Chris Paterra (55)
Clint Patterson (108)
Cuong Dang (21)
Daniel Bartholomew (2)
Daniel Mettler (181)
Daniel Valadas (48)
Dave Buckner (2)
David Poindexter (12)
David Rodriguez (3)
Dennis Shiao (1)
Doug Howell (11)
Erik van Ballegoij (30)
Ernst Peter Tamminga (80)
Francisco Perez Andres (17)
Geoff Barlow (12)
George Alatrash (12)
Gifford Watkins (3)
Gilles Le Pigocher (3)
Ian Robinson (7)
Israel Martinez (17)
Jan Blomquist (2)
Jan Jonas (3)
Jaspreet Bhatia (1)
Jenni Merrifield (6)
Joe Brinkman (274)
John Mitchell (1)
Jon Henning (14)
Jonathan Sheely (4)
Jordan Coopersmith (1)
Joseph Craig (2)
Kan Ma (1)
Keivan Beigi (3)
Kelly Ford (4)
Ken Grierson (10)
Kevin Schreiner (6)
Leigh Pointer (31)
Lorraine Young (60)
Malik Khan (1)
Matt Rutledge (2)
Matthias Schlomann (16)
Mauricio Márquez (5)
Michael Doxsey (7)
Michael Tobisch (3)
Michael Washington (202)
Miguel Gatmaytan (3)
Mike Horton (19)
Mitchel Sellers (40)
Nathan Rover (3)
Navin V Nagiah (14)
Néstor Sánchez (31)
Nik Kalyani (14)
Oliver Hine (1)
Patricio F. Salinas (1)
Patrick Ryan (1)
Peter Donker (54)
Philip Beadle (135)
Philipp Becker (4)
Richard Dumas (22)
Robert J Collins (5)
Roger Selwyn (8)
Ruben Lopez (1)
Ryan Martinez (1)
Sacha Trauwaen (1)
Salar Golestanian (4)
Sanjay Mehrotra (9)
Scott McCulloch (1)
Scott Schlesier (11)
Scott Wilkinson (3)
Scott Willhite (97)
Sebastian Leupold (80)
Shaun Walker (237)
Shawn Mehaffie (17)
Stefan Cullmann (12)
Stefan Kamphuis (12)
Steve Fabian (31)
Steven Fisher (1)
Timo Breumelhof (24)
Tony Henrich (3)
Torsten Weggen (3)
Tycho de Waard (4)
Vicenç Masanas (27)
Vincent Nguyen (3)
Vitaly Kozadayev (6)
Will Morgenweck (40)
Will Strohl (180)
William Severance (5)
What is Liquid Content?
Find Out
What is Liquid Content?
Find Out
What is Liquid Content?
Find Out