01 What is the esoteric programming language Beatnik?


Beatnik is an esoteric programming language developed in 2001 by Cliff L. Biffle.

A Beatnik program consists of words of the German or English language. Beatnik does not know a fixed assignment of keywords and functions. There is no check whether the word is a valid word of the respective language. Likewise, it is not necessary that the text makes sense in natural language.

Each word is scored according to the Scrabble rules and a function is assigned according to the score.

The processing of the variables takes place in a stack, i.e. in each case the uppermost entry can be processed.

The interpreter reads the poem word by word; punctuation, spaces and line breaks are ignored. Some functions consist of one word, other functions need one argument – so they are 2-word functions. These are listed below in the notation “n, m”. This means that both the word for the function and the word for the argument must be read.

GC Wizard offers the possibility to interpret/execute beatnik programs as well as to generate a basic framework for a beatnik program.

For this 21 different – also other language – Scrabble sets can be used.