Write-Only Language

What Does Write-Only Language Mean?

A write-only language is a humorous term for a language in which only the coder can comprehend the code that he/she has written in that language. This can be due to a number of reasons, some of which include the complexity of syntax and the flexibility of the piece of code.


Techopedia Explains Write-Only Language

Very basic types of write-only languages include TECO and INTERCAL (both of which are considered obsolete languages now). JavaScript and Perl can be regarded as write-only because the code written can often be unintelligible to a fairly experienced observer (but the coder can easily understand his/her own code). JS and Perl are not always indecipherable but a well-written, well-maintained and commented piece of code can be comprehensible to a common viewer. C and C++ are sometimes said to be write-only because it is easier to write code in them than to understand what has been written.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.