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An Arabic programming language

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Although it’s not new, I just found this through Lobste.rs (there’s a Hacker News thread too): A non-ASCII programming language in Arabic.

قلب is a programming language exploring the role of human culture in coding. Code is written entirely in Arabic, highlighting cultural biases of computer science and challenging the assumptions we make about programming. It is implemented as a tree-walking language interpreter in JavaScript.

It’s an art project by Ramsey Nasser and isn’t meant to be used for anything useful, but nevertheless it’s very interesting to think about the English / American cultural bias in tech.

The page includes an embedded YouTube video (link), in which he also tells about problems he encountered while developing the language: any text editor or terminal broke, because they all assumed ASCII code.

There’s a REPL, where you can write and execute in “قلب” too. (Assuming you understand Arabic.)


Jan-Lukas Else
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