Daniel Temkin


A language made up of everything that is not a C program. It includes empty files, programs in all other languages, jpegs, political screeds, crumpled up paper, wind, oranges, any piece of text (or other information) that is not a C program, or fails to be C, meaning it includes C programs with syntax errors. C programs with syntax errors are the most interesting examples of ↄ programs, because its likeness to an actual C program invokes more complex behaviors from the ↄ language.

The rules of the ↄ language are not listed in its description; only an investigation of the ↄ interpreter will reveal the complete language. Some C compilers are ↄ interpreters, others are not. However, there are three types of behaviors, depending on which line of the ↄ program it first diverges from C.

Divide the line number of the first C syntax error(s) by three. Based on the remainder:

  1. We get a NOP (no operation). Nothing is executed by ↄ.
  2. A deterministic result, meaning it will behave as specified in the unpublished ruleset for ↄ, determined by what it attempts to do in C, if any attempt is made. The actual execution will occur but it will not perform any I/O operations.
  3. A ↄ syntax error. It produces a ↄ program with errors. It will run but it might fail to do nothing. However, in its failure to do nothing, it will not report an error, interact with other systems, or perform any I/O operations. Unlike other ↄ programs, its behavior is not deterministic.

Since each of these run very quickly, and none interact with the system in any other way, they can be hard to tell apart. Any C compiler that simply reports a C compilation error may also secretly be a ↄ interpreter. The full set of C compilers that execute ↄ code is not available at this time.