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A Stack-based golfing language designed after the platypus - weird but unforgettable
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PlatyPar is a golfing language that compiles to JavaScript, similarly to CoffeeScript. It was made for code-golfing, mainly on SE. Unlike most conventional languages, it is stack-oriented, which leads to interesting benefits and side-effects.

Postfix notation

One important distinction is that while any practical language uses infix notation, PlatyPar uses postfix notation. This means that for a given operation, let's say +, you would put it inbetween (as in infix), i.e. a+b. This can be read as "a plus b". However, PlatyPar uses postfix notation, i.e. ab+. This can be read as "a, b, add", or if you prefer a pseudo-code approach, [a,b].add. There is an important tradeoff here. Consider the following infix expression: a+b*c If you are familiar with PEMDAS, you will know that that should evaluate to a+(b*c).

But what if you want to express (a+b)*c? You can't do it without parentheses. In postfix notation, both could be expressed without parens. The postfix equivalents of those two would be abc*+ and ab+c*. This is a huge advantage, as it not only saves you space by not needing to use (), but it also makes this harder to read, making distinguishing noobs from pros such as yourself a trivial task. There is, however, a drawback: with postfix notation, every operator has an arity, or amount of operands it can take. While infix notation can have different arities, for example -a means the negation of a and a-b means the difference of a and b, postfix has a fixed arity, so - can only mean a-b.


Under the hood, PlatyPar is stack-oriented: all operations apply transformations to the stack. This is the only form of memory. It can be thought of this way: the only variable you can manipulate is an array. PlatyPar translates each character into a command. For example, in our previous example (2+3)*4, we write this:


Since every character is treated separately, including numbers (more on that later), this is parsed as:

push 2
push 3
push 4

This may be confusing, so I'll demonstrate what's going on behind the scenes:

   :: []
2  :: [2]
3  :: [2 3]
+  :: [2+3] => [5]
4  :: [5 4]
*  :: [5*4] => [20]

Implicit I/O

Here's the interesting part: at the beginning of the program, PlatyPar always asks for input! All input (, separated) is pushed to the stack! So to find the the sum of two input numbers:


That's it! Let's have a look at what it does if you input 2, 5.

   :: []
in :: [2 5]
+  :: [2+5] => 7

Which brings us to the next feature: implicit printing. At the end of the program, the last item of the stack is printed. This is useful, because 99% of all code golf challenges require I/O! Even the most basic Hello, world! program requires output. When given a challenge, you only need to worry about implementing the algorithm, not getting input and giving output. If it's implicit you want to do something, why should you explicitly tell the program to do it? (this is why Java sucks)

Number Literals and Base 60

As previously mentioned, all characters are parsed as separate commands. This includes numbers. So 12 is not parsed as, well, 12, but rather as 1, 2. This makes repeated operations on integers easier. However, most numbers require multiple digits. Introducing the # operator. This parses all alphanumeric characters after it as a number. Using any operator or symbol in a number literal will terminate it, and then use that symbol for its normal function. A semicolon ; or EOL can be used to terminate a number literal without any side effects. To make up for the extra character required with the #, PlatyPar's number system is base 60. Why base 60? For starters, all alphanumeric characters, or [0-9A-Za-z] if you speak regex, allow a maximum of base 62. But having a higher base doesn't necessarily mean shorter length. 60 was chosen because it is the largest highly composite number that can be represented with the range of ASCII characters. TL;DR: a highly composite number is a number that has more factors than any number before it. This means it has a lot of divisors, so dividing by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, or 60 will not result in a recurring decimal, whereas base 10 can't even handle a 3 without repeating. This makes base 60 number literals shorter. The order goes 0-9, then A-Z, and finally a-x. A y in a number literal represents the e in scientific notation, and a z is a decimal point (as using an actual . would terminate the literal). If you're feeling lazy and don't want to figure out how to represent your number, open your console on the main page, and type genNum (n). This will return the base 60 representation of n.

String Literals

As in most languages, a string can be delimited with either ' or ". However, in PlatyPar they have different meaning: ' is a character, whereas " is a string of characters. As such, no closing ' is needed, because a single-quoted string can only contain one character. You will notice this in debug mode, where an array of characters will be represented as 'H 'e 'l 'l 'o ', ' 'w 'o 'r 'l 'd '! Double-quoted strings behave as they do in most languages, except an unclosed string will be automatically closed on EOL.

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