Esoteric programming language coded with images

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Piet’s an old favourite for steganography challenges - like all of those other obscure languages, they seem to exist to screw me over in hacking CTF competitions

Made me think of the inventor of Soma, the puzzle that drove me nuts as a kid:


That is truly epic. I love it. I convince my company to rewrite our backend in Piet. If things don’t work out, we can at least sell our art program to the Tate.


I was kind of disappointed - it’s just a regular programming language (push/pop/in/out/not/multiply) encoded in an image (and not in a terribly interesting or visual way). Be much cooler if it “used” its imagey-ness more. Like, a 2d version of redstone programming in Minecraft would be more interesting - more connected to the image.


Sounds like a project…

Or a Turing Machine in John Conway’s Life cellular automation.


Well, what about Scratch then?

It sounds like you might want a hardware engineer instead of a programmer for that one. Some circuits are a lot more interesting than others in this regard(DRAM, say, deserves respect for bringing reliability and low cost in massive quantities, but makes your average planned exurb look like it has an interesting floorplan); but hardware is about as close as one gets to a program that is inseparable from its form.

At least on older processes one can even directly infer the function through visual inspection. I assume that remains conceptually possible but more difficult now that chip features can be all enough that detail can hide below the size of the waves you have available.

On a much less practical and demanding level, that’s why I like beambots. Hard to justify on any utilitarian grounds given what punchy microcontrollers don’t cost; but a robot that isn’t controlled by an algorithm that lives in an abstraction layer somewhere; but is the algorithm is always really neat.

I love Piet. It was the first language I taught my kids. In retrospect teaching them English first might have made it easier to each them Piet, but I have my priorities.

sorry, not intended as a reply


Now that is some self-documenting code.

Disengage humor: I adore Mondrian’s linear work, absolutely love it, have always loved it from the moment I first saw it as a child.

Re-engage humor: As a programming language, very cool. But much work remains to be done! For example: a visual programming language based on the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh:

Tree Roots, July 1890


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