During the late fifties the Swedish Navy used a very peculiar programming language for embedded control on their submarines. They called it Kvikkalkul. Can't believe this? Of course it was a joke. But don't tell anybody, the careers of too many people might be in danger if you tell! Just ask the Swedish Navy and they'll tell you that it was a joke.

Kvikkalkul started its public carreer in 1994 when an anonymous posting appeared in alt.folklore.computers. This posting was followed by a second one and some people might have seen the third one with an example program.

The situation became very serious when somebody wrote an implementation of this awful language. Now nobody can deny the existence of the language anymore! There exists a Macintosh port as well. This port and info about related languages can be found at The One, The Only... TURING TAR PIT!

At April fool's day 1995 there apeared a posting about a new object oriented version of Kvikkalkul, called Kvikkalkul 95. Of course this posting was a joke. Thank goodness!

Not only high-level languages can be horrendous, instruction sets can be weird as well. With the appearance of the Intel Merced processor (See the Intel Secrets page, instruction set complexity is raised to an even more baroque level. Maybe it's fun to read the BISC article.

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