Saturday, September 23, 2006

hackers and...musicians?

I recently found the Choon programming language page. To quote:

Its special features are:

  • Output is in the form of music - a wav file in the reference interpreter
  • There are no variables or alterable storage as such
  • It is Turing complete

Choon's output is music - you can listen to it. And Choon gets away without having any conventional variable storage by being able to access any note that has been played on its output. One feature of musical performance is that once you have played a note then that's it, it's gone, you can't change it. And it's the same in Choon. Every value is a musical note, and every time a value is encountered in a Choon program it is played immediately on the output.

I haven't used Choon to do anything useful, of course (even if you want to write down music in text form in Linux, there are much better options available). But I have used Choon to think of an absurd mental picture: an office full of programmers humming in harmony over the cubicle walls, perhaps to create the next version of TurboTax. I'm reminded of a scene in the educational film from the Pinky and the Brain episode "Your Friend Global Domination". Brain proposes a new language for the UN, Brainish, in which each speaker says either "pondering" or "yes" each time. By varying the tone and rhythm of their one-word statements, they can have a conversation about several topics simultaneously. I say Kupo! to that.

Unrelated observations from killing time by watching old Smallville shows in syndication: 1) crazy Joe Davola is one of the producers, 2) Evangelline Lilly has one of those blink-and-you-might-miss-it moments guess-starring in the episode "Kinetic" as a ladyfriend of one of the episode meanies.

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