Ultimately obfuscated coding

There may even be a few good reasons for you wanting to obfuscate your code. Perhaps you don’t want anyone else to be able to read or understand it, or simply because security. Here’s a wonderful solution which I’m sure Apple will consider using for its security tools: wenyan, or 文言, whose characters will probably be suitably invisible to your browser too.

The developers of wenyan make it clear from their description of it as an “esoteric programming language” that it isn’t intended for ordinary coders. After all, you need to be fluent in classical Chinese, as used in ancient Chinese literature. Even when you’ve compiled it to one of its intermediate languages (JavaScript, Python and Ruby currently supported), it remains almost incomprehensible. If you’re feeling really mean, try sending your source code to someone who’s still struggling to come to terms with Unicode, and invite them to comment on it.

As I wish you a Merry Christmas, let me leave you with an exquisite example of wenyan in action, coding the well-known Sieve of Eratosthenes.


There’s a bonus of five gold stars to anyone who can optimise this source code to improve its performance.

Thanks to Professor Victor Mair of Language Log for drawing attention to this huge step forward in obfuscation.