<language> /kveek`kahl-kool'/ A deliberately cryptic programming language said to have been devised by the Swedish Navy in the 1950s as part of their abortive attempt at a nuclear weapons program. What little is known about it comes from a series of an anonymous posts to Usenet in 1994. The poster described the language, saying that he had programmed in Kvikkalkul when he worked for the Swedish Navy in the 1950s. It is an open question whether the posts were a troll, a subtle parody or truth stranger than fiction could ever be.
Assuming it existed, Kvikkalkul is so much a bondage-and-discipline language that it is, in its own ways, even more bizarre than the deliberate parody language INTERCAL. Among its notable "features", all symbols in Kvikkalkul, including variable names and program labels, can consist only of digits. Operators consist entirely of the punctuation symbols (, ), -, and :. Kvikkalkul allows no comments - they might not correspond with the code. Kvikkalkul's only data type is the signed fixed-point fractional number, i.e. a number between (but not including) -1 and 1. Dealings with the Real World that require numbers outside that range are done with functions that notionally map that range to a larger range (e.g., -16383 to -16383) and back. Kvikkalkul had a probabilistic jump operator which, if given a negative probability, would act like a COME FROM. This was, sadly, deleted in later versions of the language.
Last updated: 1998-11-14
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Nearby terms: Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan « KUTGW « Kvatro Telecom AS « Kvikkalkul » KVM » kw » KWIC