Rough Book

random musings of just another computer nerd

Tag: development

CherryBlossom

I’ve created a project page for the CherryBlossom programming language. You can check it out here. The interpreter is written in perl.

Introducing CherryBlossom

Over the past month, I’ve been working on a new project. It’s called CherryBlossom, and it’s a way to write programs using haikus. Strictly speaking, CherryBlossom is a brainfuck analog. I actually spent more time writing the obligatory “Hello World” program in CherryBlossom than I did writing the interpreter for the language. The idea behind CherryBlossom is simple. Brainfuck instructions are mapped to words that convey the essence of the Brainfuck instruction. Of course, this is a little subjective and also a little abstract.

Ultimately, it serves as a way to make program code not just functional, but beautiful and artistic. Thus, we introduce a new criteria to programming. Your code must not only be elegant algorithmically, but must also be poetic and artistic (also, since program code consists of haikus, you need to represent your code in sets of 3 lines with the first and last lines having 5 syllables, and the second line 7. That is, conforming to haiku rules). CherryBlossom serves to blend the programmer and the poet into one entity (hopefully with amazing results).

Here is an example of “Hello World!” in CherryBlossom. I have opted to use a spruced up div tag instead of enclosing my beautiful poem in soulless sourcecode tags.
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A brainfuck interpreter in bAdkOde

A few days before I left India, I started writing a brainfuck interpreter in bAdkOde. I finished implemented all the instructions, excepting for looping. I actually finished the code (and fixed all bugs) while I was in the air, flying from Dubai to Los Angeles. Emirates Airlines has power-plugs for your laptop on the seat. It’s pretty sweet!

An interesting thing I noticed was that I couldn’t perfectly emulate the input instruction. I’m feeding the brainfuck code to the interpreter from STDIN and so that might be the problem. I’ve noticed that brainfuck interpreters written in brainfuck have the same problem. You have to specify program input before hand. This is what I’ve decided to do. You write brainfuck code, and then mark the end of program code by an exclamation mark. After the exclamation mark, you provide any input, and then mark the end of input by another exclamation mark. Programs that do not have any input end with two exclamation marks. After I finished writing the interpreter, I commented it. While I was doing this, I noticed a lack of labels in bAdkOde. So, I decided to update the interpreter to include them. Speaking of which, I really ought to rewrite the interpreter sometime…

Anyway, here is the code to the interpreter. I’m providing a link to it, because the commented version is rather large. But here’s the expanded (without labels or macros), unformatted version:

>3a>1b{!b?b>b[a)b-91b{=b+1[b>1b}+91b-93b{=b-1[b>1b}+93b(b+1a-33b}>0[a+1a>2b>a[b>1b{!b?b>b[a+1a-33b}>1b>a[b>0a>[aa>ab{=a>1a>[ab>3a{![a)a>[aa-62a{=a+1b-30000b)a>ba{+b>1b>[bb)b>0b-1b>0a}{-a+30000b)b>0a}(b(a+62a}+62a-60a{=a-1b)a>1a>[aa-ab>ba{-b>1a>[aa+30000a>ab)b>0b>0a-1a}{+a>1a>[aa+ab)b>0a-1a}(b(a+60a}+60a-43a{=a+1[b+43a}+43a-45a{=a-1[b+45a}+45a-46a{=a"[b+46a}+46a-44a{=a)a>2a>[aa>[a[b>2a+1[a(a+44a}+44a-91a{=a(a)b)a>[bb{=b>0b>1[b{![b(a+1a)a>[aa)a-91a{=a+1[a>1a}+91a-93a{=a-1[a>1a}+93a(a}(a-1a)a>1b}(a(b)a+91a}+91a-93a{=a(a)b)a>[bb{!b>0b>0[b-1[b{![b(a-1a)a>[aa)a-91a{=a+1[a>1a}+91a-93a{=a-1[a>1a}+93a(a}>0b}(a(b)a+93a}+93a(a+1a}>1a>0b}{!b"85"110"109"97"116"99"104"101"100"32"98"114"97"99"107"101"116"115>0b}

Also, this is additional proof for Turing Completeness. Yes, I’m a nerd! 🙂

bAdkOde is Turing Complete

In my previous post, I suggested that bAdkOde might be Turing Complete by writing a quine. One of the ways to actually prove Turing Completeness is to try and write an interpreter for another Turing-Complete language in bAdkOde. Another approach involves providing a direct translation from another Turing-Complete language into bAdkOde. Here, I prove the Turing Completeness of bAdkOde by providing a direct translation from Brainfuck into bAdkOde.
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A bAdkOde quine (which suggests that bAdkOde is Turing Complete)

On the bAdkOde project page, I mentioned that I didn’t know whether bAdkOde is Turing Complete (although I suspected it). I also mentioned that if I was able to write a quine in bAdkOde, then it would probably mean that it is Turing Complete. I was able to write one after going through this excellent quine tutorial by Dave Cope.
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if-else in bAdkOde

I was talking to my CSE 200 (my first CS class at ASU) professor Richard Whitehouse about bAdkOde and he (rightly) pointed out that it didn’t have an explicit selection statement. He also said that unless I wanted it to be really ugly I’d need to have a selection statement. However, since I was going for ugly I figured that I’d just emulate the operation of an if and an if-else with the existing while statement.

If you know assembly, then you know that a while is simply a set of statements wrapped with a conditional branch at the top and a backwards branch at the bottom (or in other words, an if with a goto at the end. A do-while is simply a set of statements with a conditional branch (at the bottom) that branches to the top of the loop. In fact, in assembly programming there really aren’t any for loops or while loops. These keywords are simply abstractions and syntactic sugar. In bAdkOde, you can implement an if with the existing while statement if you explicitly make it break out of the loop. For example, let’s say that we want to check whether the user entered the character “0”:

?a
-48a
# print a line break
"10
# if a is zero
{=a
 # print the string "zero"
 "122"101"114"111"10
 # set the a register to a non-zero value so that we can break out of the loop
 >1a
}

I knew there was a way to implement an if-else with just while statements but I didn’t remember exactly how. Then my friend and co-worker Juan reminded me that I needed two variables. In our case, we need to use two registers:

?a
-48a
# copy the value of a into b
>ab
"10
# if a is zero
{=a
 # print the string "zero"
 "122"101"114"111"10
 # set the a register to a non-zero value so that we can break out of the loop
 >1a
}
# if the top loop failed, it means that b (which holds the same value as a) is 
# non-zero and so we can enter this block.
# if the top loop was successful, it means that b (which holds the same value
# as a) is zero and so we won't enter this block. Hence, the second block acts
# as an 'else'
{!b
 # print the string "non-zero"
 "110"111"110"45"122"101"114"111"10
 # zero out the b register
 >0b
}

Yes, quite ugly. But that’s what I’m going for! 🙂

bAdkOde: An Esoteric Language

I’ve added another project to the projects page. It’s called bAdkOde, an interpreter for an esoteric language that I designed. The very first incarnation of bAdkOde was written in Java and I actually posted it (or made a blog entry about it) over 8 years ago. For some reason I took it down. Probably because I stopped working on it. Anyway, I redesigned the language and wrote an interpreter for it in Perl about 4 or 5 years ago. I finally got around to posting it. Check out the project page for more details. Let me know what you think.

An update to the Grinder testing-framework

Mukesh alerted me to a problem with the Perl conversion script (that converts the XML produced by the Grinder recorder into a Jython file). It wasn’t parsing all the parameters in a GET request properly. I’ve fixed the bug and uploaded a new version of the script. You can download it here.

JSTL, instanceof, and hasProperty

I’ve been doing a little bit of JSTL over the past week, especially custom tags. I’ve written custom tags in Grails before, and there you use actual Groovy code. I guess this was how custom tags used to be written (in Java), but now you can can build your own custom tags using the standard tag library. The standard tag library is still pretty useful when it comes to building custom tags. Since it’s not straight Java, it forces you think really hard about your logic. You don’t want to put any business or application logic in your tag, and you want to restrict everything to view or presentation logic. A side effect of it not being Java is that if you want to do anything extremely complicated, you’re probably better off writing the tag in Java (making sure that you don’t let any business logic creep in).

While writing my own custom tag, I noticed that although instanceof is a reserved word in the JSTL EL (expression language), it is not supported as an operator. The reason I wanted to use the instanceof operator is that I have an attribute that could either be a List or a Map and depending on the type, I wanted to do different things.

Another thing I was trying to do, was to inspect the incoming object to see if it had a certain property (reflection). JSTL uses reflection so that you can access the properties of an object via dot notation, if they follow the JavaBean naming-convention. However, there was no way for me to see if an object had a certain property. To solve both these problems, I wrote my own JSTL functions.
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About Me and Projects

I finally got around to adding pages to my blog. I’ve added an “About Me” page and a “Projects” page. The “Projects” page is similar to the one I had on the old site. I’ve migrated one project (Sulekha) over. Will be moving the second one (FXCalendar) over soon and I’m also going to try and add another one to the list.

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