The past two days I thought I’d take a break from my normal projects (especially with school just about over) and attempt to learn how exactly a programming language works in the first place. I’ve always wondered this and even pondered creating one myself. Well now I have. It’s not perfect, it’s not even finished yet, but it’s mine. And I’m so happy with it. I’ve named the language Nitrogen. Why you ask? Because my projects have typically taken a garden/plant theme when it comes to names. My primary project is named Dandelion, two other projects (that never really made it off the ground at all) were named Rose Petal and Garden. So I thought since Nitrogen is a vital element to healthy plant production, what better name to give that which gives a coding project life, that being the language it’s written in. Hence the Nitrogen programming language.

Nitrogen is a Lisp-based language that uses S-expressions and Q-expressions (quoted expressions) to represent both code and data. In Nitrogen, like all Lisp dialects, everything is a list. For me it took a bit to get used to this stange way of doing things. I was so used to “normal” languages like Go, PHP, Python, C, etc. that don’t have near the number of () and {} and have the operators between that which they operate on. But after playing with it, I find it quite logical. I doubt I’ll ever start using Nitrogen for any significant project. But hopefully someday it will have enough functionality that I can use it as a scripting language or something like that.

For more information on Nitrogen, including documentation that will eventually be posted, go to the Nitrogen Page.

Here’s a quick sample of a simple printing function (I’m still working on a concat function for strings):

(fun {printHi s} {
    print s
(printHi "Hi, Tom")
#=> prints "Hi, Tom" to STDOUT