Hey there! I am Francesco known as Airscript on the web.
Today I want to share with you my first experience building a joke esoteric programming language: Analscript.
We will go through how I have started, what I have learned and how I have realized all of this.

History Behind The Joke

All started the day I’ve decided to give my GitHub sponsors some perks.
One of those perks is the possibility to have their usernames written in a large variety of esolangs.
So, when a new sponsor came up, I had to ask for which esolang the username would be written it in…and then a wild AnalLang appeared.
Yes, you heard it right: AnalLang.

The Dad Of Analscript

I jumped right into the action and read about AnalLang onto the [bible of esolangs][esolangs].
The thing that jumps right in my face, during the lecture, is that the project got deleted. And with it also its creator.
All gone. Everything.
I tried to recover it from npm but nothing was working, even if I had found the original project.
I took it personally and decided to make a new AnalLang, something that had everything his father had but with a modern approach.
And that is how my journey begins.

Anal-yzing The Project

The first thing that I did was to learn how AnalLang worked, or at least how was intended to work originally.
It is very simple: you convert the characters to their corresponding ASCII code and then simply write N times this emoji combination: 🍑🍆.
This is, basically, AnalLang. Simple, right?

Writing Down The Foundation

Now that I had a good idea about how everything worked, I just jumped out making some decisions.
The goal here was to give everything daddy had, even the basic runtime he used: Node.js.
I’ve scaffolded a project with the latest LTS as of this time, v18, and jumped right in making the standard library.
The first thing I’ve worked on were the two main functions: anallify and stringify. Respectively one for transforming string to anal content and the other to reverse them.
Once done this, I was literally at a good point with the language.

Exposing Everything

Once I had the standard library, I needed to choose first how users could consume this language.
I thought to start with two simple ways: a CLI and a simple import as a libary.
For the latter, it was really easy: I have just exposed the modules I wanted through the use of ES Modules.
The CLI was a little bit more interesting to do.
Did you know that you can add a bin key into your package.json and that just makes a binary for your lib? It is literally amazing.

  "bin": {
    "analscript": "analscript.js"

With this simple line, when bundling the project, you will have a fantastic binary to run everything from.

Once done this, I had to choose the commands to expose and everything was set.
At the end I’ve chosen to expose anallify and stringify for doing JIT encoding and decoding for various use cases. Like making stuff in a simple pipeline for example.
Then I’ve added two special commands that gave us the power to use .anal files: run and compile.
Compile just compiles everything you give it into an .anal compliant file. Run…you can imagine or try it by yourself.

Wrapping The Whole Package

At the end of the day, I wanted to give some robustness to everything.
My main goals were: testing, documentation, listing, automation and inclusion.

  • Testing: this one was really simple to accomplish and I have just used vitest for writing all the unit tests.
    With the help of @mateonunez, we also improved code coverage of the whole project.
  • Documentation: with this step I am still working. I have decided to make use of Docusaurus, just to keep everything inside JavaScript ecosystem and of course to keep it comprehensible for future Analscripters.
  • Listing: the world had to knew who is the new boss in the city. For this reason, I have added Analscript to
  • Automation: who doesn’t love automation? Analscript for sure loves it. Thanks to CircleCI I was able to setup a fantastic workflow for running automated tests. And this closes the Circle…CI.
  • Inclusion: what if I don’t know how to run this project on my machine or am I having problems with it? Simple: I left a container image ready for you. Nothing more to say.

What I Have Learned

After creating Analscript I learned something valuable, beside all the technical knowledge that I gathered from it: even the simplest project can be valuable if you give it the possibility to do it.
So just do what you want to do! Even if it is a simple Hello World.
You can always learn something new and obtain a lesson from it.


So wrapping things up, we have seen the history behind the idea, what was AnalLang, how I’ve built everything and the main aspects that I have focused on when completing the project.
In the end everything has a lesson so why don’t just share it with you too? I hope that this post was fun and informative for you. I will see you in undefined days. Thank you kindly.

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