Meditating on the Wizard Book and language design

Darius J Chuck


My trusty copy of the Wizard Book

At the beginning of 2023 I came up with an idea of hand-translating code from the Wizard Book1 into a semi-imaginary programming language based on Jevko. I had a rough idea of how I wanted the language to look like and some messy prototypes. The idea was to advance the design and make up missing features as I was translating the SICP code.

It took me about 6 months to go through the whole book. The whole exercise produced a 260 KB Markdown file of over 15000 lines, mostly code. To view the HTML version of that file, go here:

Meditating on the Wizard Book and language design: Snippets

The point of the whole thing was not necessarily to produce anything practical (I have produced some more messy prototypes though), but just to meditate and maybe in the process learn something new. It certainly helped me develop a certain consistent rhythm, which I more or less still maintain. For that alone it was worth it. Despite the fact that the whole thing may seem like madness from a certain angle, it really helped me maintain sanity in difficult times.

I did learn a thing or two, had some fun, and wrote some thoughts down, perhaps for the benefit of an aspiring language designer or some curious individual. So here it is officially published. Something more may sprout from this in the future. Meanwhile, enjoy!

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Darius J Chuck