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equinox is an interpreter and JIT compiler for esoteric programming languages.

Like nemesys, this is just for fun. Don't use it for any serious business purpose. Then again, if you're using esoteric languages for any serious business purpose, maybe you have other problems...


If it doesn't work on your system, let me know. It should build and run on all recent OS X versions.

Modes and options

Usually you can just run ./equinox <filename> and it should be able to figure out which language you want to use based on the filename. If it infers incorrectly, you can give the appropriate language option (e.g. --language=brainfuck) to override its guess.

equinox will use the JIT compiler for the appropriate language if it's available. If it's not available or if you specify --interpret, equinox will use the interpreter for that language.

When using the JIT compiler, the option --show-assembly will cause all the generated code to be printed to stderr. This is pretty useful when debugging issues with the compiled code or the compiler itself.


Currently equinox supports four languages to varying degrees. Suggestions for other esoteric languages to support are welcome.


equinox will run files ending with the ".b" extension as Brainfuck. To force interpreting/compiling the input program as Brainfuck, use the --language=brainfuck option.

The Brainfuck implementation is fully working and correct in both interpret and compile modes.

The compiler optimizes some common patterns by default, making the compiled code much faster than a naive translation to assembly. In some cases, the compiled code is multiple orders of magnitude faster than the interpreter; for example, computing the prime numbers up to 250 took 7.3 minutes in the interpreter vs. 0.3 seconds when compiled. You can disable complex optimizations or all optimizations by using --optimize-level=1 or --optimize-level=0 respectively.

For memory-hungry programs, you might want to increase the --memory-expansion-size option (default 8192 cells). This controls how many more cells are allocated when the program moves past the end of its currently-allocated array. You can also change the width of each cell using the --cell-size=X argument; X should be 1, 2, 4, or 8 (default).


equinox will run files ending with the ".bf" or ".b98" extensions as Funge-98. To force interpreting/compiling the input program as Funge-98, use the --language=funge-98 option.

The Funge-98 JIT implementation is mostly working, but the interpreter is incomplete. Mycology's tests fail pretty early in the interpreter because the 'k' opcode isn't implemented; they fail much later in the JIT due to bugs in the file I/O opcodes. There's also a known inefficiency in the JIT: each cell will be compiled multiple times depending on how many different directions it's entered from (among other factors), so the code buffer can get quite large.

Use --dimensions to choose between Unefunge (1), Befunge (2; default), and Trefunge (3).

To start a Funge-98 program in single-step debugging mode, use the --single-step option. Alternatively, you can use --breakpoint=X[,Y[,Z]] (depending on the number of dimensions) to enter single-step debugging mode when execution reaches that cell.


equinox will run files ending with the ".mal" extension as Malbolge. To force interpreting the input program as Malbolge, use the --language=malbolge option.

Malbolge runs only in interpret mode; equinox does not have a compiler implementation for this language. There are no language-specific options. There's definitely some kind of unfixed critical bug in the interpreter; Hello World works but 99 Bottles hangs forever. That's on my TODO list.


equinox will run files ending with the ".df" extension as Deadfish. To force interpreting/compiling the input program as Deadfish, use the --language=deadfish option.

The Deadfish implementation is fully working and correct in both interpret and compile modes. The author is aware that compiling this language is totally pointless, but he wrote a (non-optimizing) compiler anyway. Such is life.

Use the --ascii option to output characters instead of decimal representations of numbers.


Esoteric language JIT compiler




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