Toy programming language
|This article does not cite any references (sources). (July 2010)|
A toy language is a computer programming language that lacks the requirements to create reliable, maintainable computer programs in a production environment. Which programs to categorize as toy languages is difficult, however. Languages such as Brainfuck and Whitespace are both considered esoteric programming languages. They are Turing complete, which means they are able to compute any computable function. Logo is an example of a toy language. Its goal was originally to create a math land where children could play with words and sentences. For a long time, the GNU Compiler Collection was shipped with a toy programming language called Treelang which was essentially C without the advanced features such as pointers, arrays, and records.
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.