Oration is a programming language created by @ConorO'Brien, which I have helped with.

My answer here has come under fire for copying somebody else's code, and being just a lengthier version of python. The python answer is here.

I think it is still valid as a language (as of now, it is actually beating the said python answer. :P), but some people disagree.

Let the community speak:

Is this a programming language or not?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ A language that simply maps another language is totally valid but people don't like them, which is why you were put under file. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 17:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill Yeah, but my point is that Oration has it's own tricks that make it not pure python, or even a direct map. \$\endgroup\$
    – Riker
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 18:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ A direct mapping is valid, so anything beyond that is valid. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanMerrill YAY!!! :P \$\endgroup\$
    – Riker
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ In this case, it was pretty straightforward to use webbrowser anyways. I created an answer parallel to his answer under the same method. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 1:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CrazyPython wait mine? \$\endgroup\$
    – Riker
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 1:37

2 Answers 2


You're asking the wrong question

We currently have a definition of programming languages for the purposes of PPCG, which is based on community consensus. Assuming that Oration is capable of addition (check) and primality testing (no clue, but probably), it is a programming language and can be used in our contests.

However, the discussion between Downgoat and yourself never contested Oration's status as programming language. His critique was the following:

  • -1 for being a non-optimized encoding of the Python answer

    To be fair, pretty much all answers to that challenge are going to do exactly the same. There are only so many ways to open a web browser, and any language implemented in Python is likely to use webbrowser for that task.

  • yeah, but it is like Unicorn, just a trivial encoding of another language

    I'm partly to blame for that train of thought, since I complained rather loudly in chat about such languages. My exact words were:

    Depending on the interpretation, Unicorn answers to code golf competitions might violate our competitiveness rule though.


    There's no consensus yet. My personal opinion is that encodings of a language (Unary for BF, Unicorn for ES6, etc.) should not be used to achieve a worse score.

    I still stand by this opinion, although it's nothing more than my personal opinion for now.

That being said, Unicorn encodes the characters in the source code, while Oration transpiles to Python. That's not really a feature of the language, but a design choice of the interpreter. Also, it makes Oration no different from many other esolangs, which are not only valid, but usually well received. For example, a brainfuck interpreter could simply transpile all eight instructions to C/Python/whatever code, then run the result.

Finally, I'd like to add that, if somebody considers Oration boring, he can still downvote the answer. As long as votes are based on reasons that are intrinsic to the post's content, everybody is entitled to vote as he deems fit.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Good summary, thanks for answering. \$\endgroup\$
    – Riker
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 18:20

Yes, it is a valid programming language.

For 2 reasons:

  1. The shortest python answer is not necessarily the shortest oration answer. The method Skyler uses in his python answer makes it longer than as it stands.

  2. It can be considered a "serious and competitive" answer. It has been shown to beat the language it compiles to, so it isn't just a lengthened version.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This has my upvote. \$\endgroup\$
    – Riker
    Commented Mar 30, 2016 at 17:56
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Your reasons don't make it a valid programming language. The ability to calculate and compute things does. \$\endgroup\$
    – DJMcMayhem
    Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 3:51

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