Brainfuck, or BF as we’ll call it, is more or less the grandfather of all esolangs. It’s one of the earliest and probably the most extended, modified, discussed, and parodied esolang in existence. In this chapter, we’ll see what all the fuss is about it—there’s more to it than just the name!


BF is the brainchild of Urban Müller, who loosed it upon an unsuspecting world in 1993. His goal was to create a tiny language leading to a tiny compiler for the Amiga computer. His compiler was 296 bytes long. Later in the chapter, we’ll encounter a BF compiler that’s only 166 bytes long.

How can BF compilers be so tiny? Because BF ...

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