Qalb (programming language)

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‫قلب "Qalb"
Paradigm(s) functional
Designed by Ramsey Nasser
Appeared in 2012
Influenced by Scheme

Qalb (Arabic: قلب) is a functional programming language allowing a programmer to write programs completely in the Arabic language.[1] The word means "heart" in Arabic, and the three characters used to write it also form a recursive acronym in Arabic meaning "Qalb: a programming language" (Qalb: lughat barmajeh). It was developed in 2012 by Ramsey Nasser, a computer scientist at the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center in New York City, as both an artistic endeavor and as a response to the Anglophone bias in the vast majority of programming languages, which express their fundamental concepts using English words.

The syntax is like that of Lisp or Scheme, consisting of parenthesized lists. The language provides a minimal set of primitives for defining functions, conditionals, looping, list manipulation, and basic arithmetic expressions. These have proven powerful enough to implement Conway's Game of Life in the language. All keywords are appropriate Arabic terms, and program text is laid out right-to-left, like all Arabic text.

Because all program text is written in Arabic, and the connecting strokes between characters in the Arabic script can be extended to any length, it is possible to lay out the source code in artistic patterns, in the tradition of Arabic calligraphy.