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The A-Z of Programming Languages: Shakespeare

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In an interview, Swedish programmers Jon Aslund and Karl Wiberg say they created the Shakespeare Programming Language (SPL) in one night while they were studying at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Although SPL was not created for mainstream use, the programmers say it has experienced some popularity due to the fact that its source code resembles Shakespeare's plays. The programmers decided to base their programming language on Shakespeare's writing style because it was a structured, well-defined form that would not be expected to be used to design a programming language, yet was still recognizable to most people, according to Wiberg.

SPL is part of a class of programming languages known as esoteric programming languages, which are not meant to be seriously useful. One major application was an SPL program enacted by humans, in the form of a video that featured an introductory presentation at HOPL-III, ACM's third History of Programming Languages Conference in 2007.

Since SPL is an esoteric language, it represents a design experiment for people interested in programming languages, Wiberg says. Although the developers have not added to SPL since its creation, other users can add new features to the language. In the future, the developers hope that SPL will be used to inspire other new languages that become dominant in the industry by changing the way software is written.

From Computerworld Australia
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