Wikipedia:99 Bottles of Beer test
|This essay contains comments and advice of one or more Wikipedia contributors on the topic of notability. Essays may represent widespread norms or minority viewpoints. Consider these views with discretion. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines.|
|This page in a nutshell: If nobody has published an example program for a specific programming language that demonstrates a practical feature set, the language isn't notable.|
The 99 Bottles of Beer test can show the lack of notability of a programming language.
A multitude of programming languages exist. Obviously, not all are notable enough for inclusion in Wikipedia. Per the general notability guideline, a programming language has to have significant coverage in reliable sources to be notable. Although the existence of textbooks for a language can demonstrate notability, no extensive search is necessary to demonstrate a complete lack of notability.
A 99 Bottles of Beer program is a computer program that generates the lyrics of the song "99 Bottles of Beer". 99 Bottles of Beer programs for practical programming languages are easy to write and can demonstrate key features, including string functions, input/output, and control flow. Because writing a 99 Bottles of Beer program is relatively easy, a simple test to demonstrate a lack of notability follows:
- Go to a search engine or web site that catalogs examples of 99 Bottles of Beer programs, such as 99-bottles-of-beer.net. (Other types of example programs, such as FizzBuzz might also work.)
- Look for a 99 Bottles of Beer program written in the programming language and observe that it does not exist. This means that almost nobody is interested in the programming language (anyone can write and send in a code sample) or that the programming language is too incomplete to gain widespread usage.
This test considers the notability of a language in terms of its appearance in a random collection of example programs rather than in academic publications or other internet discussion forums that actually do deal with language design and evolution.