What Does Befunge Mean?

Befunge is an esoteric and unusual programming language written in the 1990s. It is one of the languages of that time that plays around with the conventions of coding and syntax. Befunge is not a language that is easy for beginners to understand and use. It uses a two-dimensional grid of instructions and some rather unusual syntax to create programs.


Techopedia Explains Befunge

Befunge was created for the Amiga system, with the intention to make it extremely hard to compile.

Two features that add to the complexity of compiling are self-modifying code and the multidimensional playfield. Befunge exists along with other similar types of programming languages created according to specific design philosophy – languages like Forth created by Charles Moore and Elizabeth Rather, and INTERCAL or “Compiler Language with no Pronounceable Acronym,” a parody language created by Don Woods and
James Lyon in 1972. Rather than exemplifying conventional designs that allow for clear and transparent syntax and easy compiling, languages like Befunge are made for complex and confusing syntax, and difficulty converting human instructions to machine language.The reason for creating this kind of language is largely to show off and make statements about the programming industry as a whole. IT pros would mostly agree that languages like Befunge are not inherently useful and do not play a real role in the evolution of new IT capabilities.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…