Interview with David Madore

David Madore is responsible for one of the best-known and most-confounding esolangs of all time: Unlambda. The language is based on the SKI combinator calculus, a super-minimalist computational system used in the mathematical analysis of algorithms, but considered impractical for coding. In Unlambda everything is a function that takes a single variable, so there are no indicators like ()s to take parameters. Like the SKI calculus, it entirely eschews variables and the lambda indicator, and so is described as lambda-without-the-lambda. If this is entirely new to you, the second half of this post is a nice introduction. Madore, an accomplished mathematician, is also responsible for languages that play at the edges of infinity. His main web presence is his webpage from his undergrad days thirty years ago, which remains a fascinating portrait of the sincerity, optimism, and banalities of the early Web. He is also on Twitter with a handle derived from his engagement with The Hackers' Zen.

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