Graham Barr > Lingua-Shakespeare > Lingua::Shakespeare

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NAME ^

Lingua::Shakespeare -- Perl in a Shakespeare play

SYNOPSIS ^

  use Lingua::Shakespeare;

  The Infamous Hello World Program.

  Romeo, a young man with a remarkable patience.
  Juliet, a likewise young woman of remarkable grace.
  Ophelia, a remarkable woman much in dispute with Hamlet.
  Hamlet, the flatterer of Andersen Insulting A/S.


                      Act I: Hamlet's insults and flattery.

                      Scene I: The insulting of Romeo.

  [Enter Hamlet and Romeo]

  Hamlet:
   You lying stupid fatherless big smelly half-witted coward!
   You are as stupid as the difference between a handsome rich brave
   hero and thyself! Speak your mind!

  etc...

DESCRIPTION ^

Lingua::Shakespeare makes it possible to write perl programs that are as poetic as a Shakespeare play.

LANGUAGE ^

The language is referred to as SPL (Shakespeare Programming Language)

Title

The first line of every SPL program is the title. Or actually, everything up until the first period is the title, whether it's one line, three lines, or half a line. You're generally free to insert space and newlines wherever you want in the code, but we urge you to please indent tastefully.

The title serves only aesthetic purposes. From the parser's point of view, it's a comment.

Dramatis Personae

The next few lines are a list of all characters in the play. Think of them as variables, capable of holding a signed integer value. You must declare every character you intend to use, or the program won't compile.

A declaration consists of a name, followed by a description of the character (which is ignored by the parser). You can't pick just any name, however; you must use a real Shakespeare character name, such as Romeo, Juliet, or the Ghost (Hamlet's deceased father).

Acts and Scenes

The purpose of acts and scenes is to divide the play into smaller parts. A play consists of one or more acts, each act consists of one or more scenes, and each scene consists of lines (where the characters say something) and enter and exit statements, which cause characters to get on and off the stage.

Acts and scenes are numbered with roman numerals. They begin with the word ``Act'' or ``Scene'', then the number, and then a description of what happens in that act or scene. Just as with the title and the character descriptions, these descriptions are ignored by the parser.

Besides being beautiful and descriptive, acts and scenes also serve as labels, which can be jumped to using goto statements. There are no gotos in the Hello World program, however, so we'll talk about that later.

Enter, Exit and Exeunt

To be able to speak their lines, characters must be on stage. The character they address as ``you'' (or ``thou'' or any other second-person pronoun) must also be on stage. But if there is yet another character on stage, it's not clear which one is intended. This is frowned upon by the parser.

Enter Enter and Exit5. These directives cause characters to get on and off stage. ``Enter'' is followed by a list of one or more characters. ``Exit'' is followed by exactly one character. The plural of Exit is ``Exeunt'', which is followed by a list of at least two characters - or none, in which case everyone leaves.

An Enter directive given to a character already on stage, or the other way around, will cause a runtime error.

Lines

A line consists of the name of a character, a colon, and one or more sentences. In the Hello World program, only two kinds of sentences are used: output, which causes output to the screen, and statements, which cause the second person to assume a certain value.

Constants

First, we'll explain how constants (that is, constant numbers, such as 17 and 4711) are expressed.

Any noun is a constant with the value 1 or , depending on whether it's nice or not. For example, ``flower'' has the value 1 because flowers are nice, but ``pig'' has the value because pigs are dirty (which doesn't prevent most people from eating them). Neutral nouns, such as ``tree'', count as 1 as well.

By prefixing a noun with an adjective, you multiply it by two. Another adjective, and it is multiplied by two again, and so on. That way, you can easily construct any power of two or its negation. From there, it's easy to construct arbitrary integers using basic arithmetic, such as ``the sum of and'', where and are themselves arbitrary integers.

For example, ``the difference between the square of the difference between my little pony and your big hairy hound and the cube of your sorry little codpiece''. Substituting the simple constants with numbers, we get ``the difference between the square of the difference between 2 and 4 and the cube of -4''. Now, since the difference between 2 and 4 is , and the cube of is , this is equal to ``the difference between the square of and ''. The square of is , and the difference of 4 and is 60. Thus, ``the difference between the square of the difference between my little pony and your big hairy hound and the cube of your sorry little codpiece'' means 60.

As you see, this way of writing constants gives you much more poetic freedom than in other programming languages.

Assignment of Values

Now, how do we use those numbers? Well, just have a look at the two statements ``You lying stupid fatherless big smelly half-witted coward!'' and ``You are as stupid as the difference between a handsome rich brave hero and thyself!''

The first one is simple: A second person pronoun, followed by a number. The effect of this statement is to assign the value of that number (in this case, ) to the character being spoken to. Think ``''.

The second one is slightly more complicated. For starters, what is the value of ``thyself''? That's not a noun, that's a reflexive pronoun. It's value is the current value of the character being spoken to. So the number in the second statement is , where is the value of the character being spoken to. And just as you might expect from your experience with English, the second statement is just another assignment. Think `` = 8 - ''. Being ``as bas as'', ``as good as'', or as [any adjective] as something else, means being equal to that something.

Output

The other kind of sentence used in the Hello World program is output. There are two different output sentences, ``Open your heart'' and ``Speak your mind''. The first causes the character being spoken to to output her or his value in numerical form, and the other, being more literal, outputs the corresponding letter, digit, or other character, according to the character set being used by your computer.

In this program, we use only the second form. The whole program is a long sequence of constructing a number, writing the corresponding character, constructing the next number, writing the corresponding character, and so on.

AUTHOR ^

Ported to Perl by Graham Barr

ACKNOWLEGEMENTS ^

I wish I could take credit for the development of the Shakespeare Programming Language, but I cannot. It was the conception of Kalle Hasselstrom and Jon Aslund. See http://shakespearelang.sourceforge.net/report/shakespeare/

COPYRIGHT ^

The Shakespeare Programming Language is

  Copyright (C) 1993-1996, Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds. 
  Copyright (C) 1997-1999, Ross Moore, Mathematics Department, Macquarie University, Sydney.

HELLO WORLD EXAMPLE ^

  use Lingua::Shakespeare;

  The Infamous Hello World Program.

  Romeo, a young man with a remarkable patience.
  Juliet, a likewise young woman of remarkable grace.
  Ophelia, a remarkable woman much in dispute with Hamlet.
  Hamlet, the flatterer of Andersen Insulting A/S.


                      Act I: Hamlet's insults and flattery.

                      Scene I: The insulting of Romeo.

  [Enter Hamlet and Romeo]

  Hamlet:
   You lying stupid fatherless big smelly half-witted coward!
   You are as stupid as the difference between a handsome rich brave
   hero and thyself! Speak your mind!

   You are as brave as the sum of your fat little stuffed misused dusty
   old rotten codpiece and a beautiful fair warm peaceful sunny summer's
   day. You are as healthy as the difference between the sum of the
   sweetest reddest rose and my father and yourself! Speak your mind!

   You are as cowardly as the sum of yourself and the difference
   between a big mighty proud kingdom and a horse. Speak your mind.

   Speak your mind!

  [Exit Romeo]

                      Scene II: The praising of Juliet.

  [Enter Juliet]

  Hamlet:
   Thou art as sweet as the sum of the sum of Romeo and his horse and his
   black cat! Speak thy mind!

  [Exit Juliet]

                      Scene III: The praising of Ophelia.

  [Enter Ophelia]

  Hamlet:
   Thou art as lovely as the product of a large rural town and my amazing
   bottomless embroidered purse. Speak thy mind!

   Thou art as loving as the product of the bluest clearest sweetest sky
   and the sum of a squirrel and a white horse. Thou art as beautiful as
   the difference between Juliet and thyself. Speak thy mind!

  [Exeunt Ophelia and Hamlet]


                      Act II: Behind Hamlet's back.

                      Scene I: Romeo and Juliet's conversation.

  [Enter Romeo and Juliet]

  Romeo:
   Speak your mind. You are as worried as the sum of yourself and the
   difference between my small smooth hamster and my nose. Speak your
   mind!

  Juliet:
   Speak YOUR mind! You are as bad as Hamlet! You are as small as the
   difference between the square of the difference between my little pony
   and your big hairy hound and the cube of your sorry little
   codpiece. Speak your mind!

  [Exit Romeo]

                      Scene II: Juliet and Ophelia's conversation.

  [Enter Ophelia]

  Juliet:
   Thou art as good as the quotient between Romeo and the sum of a small
   furry animal and a leech. Speak your mind!

  Ophelia:
   Thou art as disgusting as the quotient between Romeo and twice the
   difference between a mistletoe and an oozing infected blister! Speak
   your mind!

  [Exeunt]
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