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Attack of the one-letter programming languages

Peter Wayner | Nov. 25, 2014
Watch out! The coder in the next cubicle has been bitten and infected with a crazy-eyed obsession with a programming language that is not Java and goes by the mysterious name of F. The conference room has become a house of horrors, thanks to command-line zombies likely to ambush you into rewriting the entire stack in M or R or maybe even -- OMG -- K. Be very careful; your coworkers might be among them, calm on the outside but waiting for the right time and secret instructions from the mothership to trash the old code and deploy F# or J.

Many versions of G have surfaced in the 50-plus years it's been around. As the machinery became better, G adopted a number of functions for positioning and repositioning the cutting tool. The syntax is largely unreadable to neophytes, and it is more like assembly code than any elaborate computer language. G96, for instance, is a code that changes the relative speed of the cutting tool. It's followed by the speed. This lack of abstractions may be why many operators call it "G-code" instead of thinking of it as a full language.

If you're building the next generation of computer-designed objects, start here.

G on the Web:


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