Whereas, there are lots of interesting languages out there that might be fun to golf in, and
Whereas, many of us are the inventors of said interesting languages, and would like to teach them to others, and
Whereas, learning and golfing in a language is more fun if other people are doing it with you:
I propose that we start a language of the month1 event.
This idea is inspired by some of the recurring events on other StackExhange sites, particularly the writing challenges on Writers.SE or the reading challenges on Literature.SE. The main idea is to get more exposure for less-frequently used languages, and to have fun learning and golfing them together.
Here's how I envision this working. We start a nominations thread on Meta. To nominate a language, you post an answer to that thread, stating the language you're nominating, why you think it's a good language to feature, and details like where to find an implementation. At the beginning of each month, the nomination with the highest net vote total is chosen as the language of the month. (This nomination process is modeled after Lit.SE's reading challenges.)
I believe there is some way to set up an "event" that shows up in the sidebar but isn't mutually exclusive with the normally displayed meta posts. Maybe somebody who knows the StackExchange system better than I do can confirm that?
During the month, everyone who wants to participate would:
- Learn the basics of the language (if they don't know it already)
- Answer challenges in it (new ones or old ones, doesn't matter)
- Try to outgolf each other's answers
- Discuss all of the above in chat
I particularly envision chat being useful for experienced users of the language to give pointers and learning exercises to newbies. Something like this has recently been happening in the Brain-Flak room. We could start a single new chatroom for all language-of-the-month chatting, or we could use the existing chatroom for each featured language (creating a chatroom for languages that didn't previously have one).
My suggested criteria for a good language of the month:
- It should be somewhat general-purpose and possible to program in. Bubblegum isn't a good choice, because it's only capable of solving a small subset of challenges. Malbolge isn't a good choice, because it's prohibitively hard to create a working program in it at all.
- It should have a freely available implementation. This can be TIO, some other online source, or a downloadable interpreter/compiler.
- It can be either esoteric or practical. Of course we like our esolangs around here, but I also think it would be cool to study some lesser-known "real" languages.
What say ye?
1 Or other time period--please make suggestions. If we end up with a duration such as "three weeks," the name of the event could be changed to "featured language" or somesuch.