I am currently trying to create a scripting language which is usable for general purpose tasks but has a high golfing potential due to many short built-in functions, operators, syntax etc.

At the moment I'm wondering which character encoding would be best to use.

  • I really want to use a single byte per character encoding to make scoring easy and to avoid using special symbols as single-character operator that actually take multiple bytes.
  • The codec should ideally not waste too many characters on non-printable control characters or use less than the full 8 bits like ASCII.
  • I would prefer a codec which contains a fair amount of symbols that are easier to understand as operators rather than one that mainly contains alphabetic characters in numerous variations, e.g. with different accents.
  • On the other hand all of its characters should be relatively easy typeable using a standard keyboard so that we do not need a hex editor to code. However, many symbols are more important than easy typeability.
    If necessary, I might also write a tool that converts typed characters or character representation strings in a standard encoding like UTF-8 to my specific codec, so that e.g. if this codec will contain a symbol , the converter could treat --> as representation of that.

Based on these criteria, can you recommend me some existing character codecs that could suit my needs?

Or should I assemble my own codec as well that contains all those symbols I want? What steps would be needed to officially publish such a codec then so that it may be used on the site?

Any guidance regarding this topic is appreciated, thanks in advance.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think this is on-topic, meta is really supposed to be about the site itself. You should try asking in chat instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Riker
    Jul 7, 2016 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


The Jelly codepage has a lot of characters, all typable from a US International keyboard, so I think this fit your needs.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, but looking at that one, I realize that I actually prefer readability (i.e. many symbols that represent the operation they're used for in a self-descriptive manner) over typeability. I will use a helper script to convert standard typeable UTF-8 characters into the used codepage. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 7, 2016 at 14:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ByteCommander In that case you could use or extend one of the APL codepages, where e.g. and are rotate/mirror horizontally and vertically resp. ans are take and drop, and are ceiling and floor, and are input and character 'quoted' input, and are grade up and down, etc. etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adám
    Jul 8, 2016 at 0:30

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