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This article was published on June 24, 2015


    Someone from 4Chan is building an emoji programming language

    Someone from 4Chan is building an emoji programming language
    Mic Wright
    Story by

    Mic Wright

    Reporter, TNW

    Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy. Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy.

    Emoji are everywhere. Now someone from 4Chan wants to turn them into a programming language. It’s not the first attempt – there’s an emoticon-based language called, well, Emoticon – and Swift supports emoji variables, but it’s still an amusing undertaking.

    Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 13.29.14
    Excerpt from a code sample showing a bubble sort

    The language dubbed ? or FourMan, if, like me, you doggedly insist on trying to save written language, is only in its early stages. The creators have put together a token list, sample code, a lexer built in C++ and an emoji reader.

    The final goals of the project are to develop a working compiler, IDEs for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, and a custom keyboard for actually composing your emoji-saturated code.

    Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 13.33.02
    If I’m honest, I’m not sure what the cute puppies and kittens do.

    As a commenter on 4Chan noted, many of the current tokens are essentially aliases of ones that exist in C. To make it easier to actually remember functions, the designers may need to think a little harder.

    The overall idea is to create a language that can be easily used on mobile. It’s intriguing but there’s a long way to go before it’s feasible.

    FourMan [GitHub]

    Read next: Emoji are not the future of language, they’re too small to contain our imaginations