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World's First Classical Chinese Programming Language

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Part of a program written in Chinese.

A new programming language is based on classical Chinese.

Credit: Lingdong Huang

Carnegie Mellon University graduate Lingdong Huang has created the first programming language based on classical Chinese, which includes a renderer that displays programs in a manner similar to pages from ancient Chinese texts.

Huang and others have written dozens of programs with his wenyan-lang language, many of which are renditions of mathematical algorithms in ancient Chinese volumes—including a fortune-telling algorithm derived from the I-Ching.

Wenyan-lang employs both traditional Chinese characters and classical Chinese grammar, and its design had to incorporate how classical Chinese does not use spaces to split sentences into words.

Huang said coding languages only possess a set amount of keywords, and wenyan-lang progresses from the longest keyword to the shortest keyword in each program to decipher the programmer's intentions.

Huang envisions wenyan-lang contributing to classical Chinese's survival, through the formation of  a community of users.

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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