Jevko: a zero waste syntax

Darius JJ Chuck

2021-12-09

This article is an informal description of Jevko.

What is Jevko?

Jevko is an extremely minimal syntax for encoding tree-structured information.

The syntax has only three elements. Two major:

  1. Nested brackets to encode structures (trees).
  2. Text interleaved between the brackets to encode the information carried by the structures.

And one minor:

  1. A special character used to encode the the brackets as part of text.

How is Jevko useful?

The arrangement of these three elements creates a minimal syntax generic enough to build all kinds of similarly minimal and generic formats.

A minimal format can be more useful than an equally expressive, but less minimal alternative, because it reduces accidental complexity, freeing up cognitive and computational resources which can be now spent elsewhere.

How does Jevko look like?

Below is an example of a Jevko-encoded encyclopedic piece of information about the cat:

Cat [
  Conservation status [Domesticated]
  Scientific classification [
    Kingdom [Animalia]
    Phylum [Chordata]
    Class [Mammalia]
    Order [Carnivora]
    Suborder [Feliformia]
    Family [Felidae]
    Subfamily [Felinae]
    Genus [Felis]
    Species [F. catus]
  ]
  Binomial name [
    Felis catus
    Linnaeus, 1758
  ]
  Synonyms [
    [F. catus domesticus Erxleben, 1777]
    [F. angorensis Gmelin, 1788]
    [F. vulgaris Fischer, 1829]
  ]
]

If Jevko was a commercial product…

… it could be advertised like this:

Jevko is a zero waste syntax which enables users to do more with less.

A zero waste syntax leads to zero waste formats and languages which in turn lead to zero waste software. A perfect fit for a zero waste world.