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]


Though a toy language may be mathematically complete, it is usually limited in one or several ways. It may not support a full range of programming constructs or concepts. It may lack a full set of support libraries considered to be required 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.