Toy programming language

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A toy language is a computer programming language that lacks the requirements to create reliable, maintainable computer programs in a production environment.[citation needed] Which programs to categorize as toy languages is difficult, however.[citation needed] Languages such as Brainfuck and Whitespace are both considered esoteric programming languages.[citation needed] They are Turing complete,[citation needed] which means they are able to compute any computable function.[citation needed] Logo is an example of a toy language.[citation needed] Its goal was originally to create a math land where children could play with words and sentences.[citation needed] For a long time, the GNU Compiler Collection was shipped with a toy programming language called Treelang[citation needed] which was essentially C without the advanced features such as pointers, arrays, and records.[citation needed]


A toy language is usually limited in one or several ways. That is it has major limitations in the number of programming constructs or concepts supported. The language might be mathematically complete. Another typical limitation of toy languages is that they do not necessarily have a set of support libraries that are considered a requirement for creating production quality programs.


The main use of a toy language is in computer languages research. Some uses are as frameworks for researching new programming constructs or as a prototype for new language concepts or paradigms. Other notable uses are as a learning or demonstration tool, e.g. in universities, for programming constructs and techniques not available in mainstream languages and as an exercise in building a language from scratch.