Beam Plays Brainfuck

https://beam.pro/beamplaysprogramming

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The goal of this project was to create an interactive element to esoteric programing using Beam.Pro's interactive API. It's also fairly insired by the "Twitch Plays" phenomena.

Brainfuck, as an esoteric language, consists of only 8 characters: [ ] < > , . - +

With these character's it's possible to produce actual programmatic results through memory cell manipulation, in a sort of ticker-tape fashion.

With the language's already high entry point of complexity, it felt like it would have been interesting to see if multiple strangers from the internet could successfully program in brainfuck together. It's with this idea that the project became a reality.

And when we finally did make it...it turned out to be a mess.

I think this is the most convoluted way of writing out "Hello World!" becuase not only is it being done in a language that consists of only 8 characters, it's being done on an Azure Virtual Instance that's kept alive via an AWS instance through RDP. Without the aforementioned setup, the streaming software has no way of keeping it's view on the Brainfuck IDE.

Along with this, the entire conception of this this was brought forth from learning how to use a poorly documented API just so we could program in an extremely complicated programming language. And yes, Brainfuck is a programming language since it's Turing Complete

What did we learn?

We learned:

  • There are extremely undocumented APIs
  • Even the developers themselves will admit to how poorly documented their API is
  • That when you disconnect from an RDP instance, the virtual display driver vanishes
  • Then we learned you can use an AWS instance to keep a Microsoft Azure display instance alive by RDP-ing from the AWS instance into the Azure one.
    • We had to do this to keep the virtual display driver alive, else we couldn't properly capture the output of the IDE
  • AutoHotkey's ImageSearch functions are extremely useful when you want to close dialogue boxes programmatically.
  • That people will learn how to write "Hello World!" in brainfuck if they find it interesting enough.
  • Github can be kinda stupid when it comes to simple pull requests

P.S. Namecheap: heyareyoutalkingto.me

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