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how to program in unary

quandaries with copyleft

quantification of bitstring randomess

the parse interpreted algorithm language


how to program in unary


It is possible to write any computer program in a unary language. This is a language whose character set is of size 1.

Instead of a binary system (e.g., digits 0 and 1), a unary system has only a single ut, or unary digit (binary: bit; unary: ut). I have decided here to use the 0 character. Instead of a traditional, positional numeral system of radix n, where n is a positive integer, it is necessary to define a new system, where zeroes can be placed together in order to present a number. This is because n to the 0th power consistently equals 1.

The new system is based only on length, where the length n corresponds to the number it represents. For example, the unary '000' equals '3' in base-10; an empty utstring would thus equal zero.

In order to translate a computer program (or any string of ASCII characters) into a unary representation, the string is first converted into its nondelimited binary representation and optionally converted into decimal. This number represents the number of uts in its unary expression. Take, for example, the following 22-byte C one-liner.

void main(){return 0;}

This is converted to nondelimited binary.


The unary representation is thus ~4.43·1052 uts in length, representing an untenable file size.