Zoe

For a friend’s birthday a year ago, I gave them a NACLO-style linguistics puzzle for a programming language that I invented (I could’ve made the puzzle an already-made language, but I didn’t want there to be an urge to look for documentation online). I’ve made a slightly modified version of the puzzle public here.

Anyway, the interpreter I made wasn’t good. It was very slow, and I don’t really understand the theory behind lexers, parsers, and compilers, despite Crafting Interpreters being on my to-read list for a while.

Note: There are spoilers below.

The core inspiration for the language itself was trying to make control-flow constructs like loops, conditionals, and functions emergent rather than built-in (like how else if in C is not built-in, but rather a combination of else and if). This was done by treating blocks as first-class objects. For example, a repeat loop can achieved by multiplying a block by an integer and then executing it.

If I was to extend this language, I’d make while loops look nicer and also allow blocks to take parameters and return values. I’d also make blocks have their own scope and selectively capture values.