git @ Cat's Eye Technologies The-Dossier / master

Tree @master (Download .tar.gz)

The Dossier

This repository collects writings by Chris Pressey, whether those writings are contained in this repository, or exist elsewhere (and are merely linked to from here). For more information, see below.


Retrospective on Language Design

Programming Languages as an Artistic Medium

The Aesthetics of Esolangs

A Basic Theory of Video Games

Blurry Memories of DOS Programming

Perspective on Text Adventures

Some Notes on Drawing

Befunge Silver Jubilee Retrospective

Some Notes on Proving Programs Correct

Facts about State Machines


Interview with Daniel Temkin


Writing about code, where the writing is primary and the code is generally merely illustrative.

Bootstrap Zero

  • link: Bootstrap Zero
  • publish-date: Jul 2015
  • written-during: RetroChallenge 2015/07
  • external: true

Overview of a Story Compiler

Nested Modal Transducers

Information Hiding in Scheme


LCF-style Natural Deduction

Ahead-of-Time eval


An Esolang Reading List

Some Production Programming Languages

Some Games of Note

20th-Century Visual Artists of Note

Some Papers I Really Liked


Writing about code, where the code is arguably the main thing and the writing is in support of it; but for those cases when the writing is nonetheless playing a significant part or could stand alone.

The Quylthulg Programming Language

The Larabee Programming Language

Specs on Spec

Further Information

The collection of these writings is complicated by the fact that some may be writings per se, such as articles, while others may be writings in support of some other thing, such as programming language specifications.

These entries are written in Feedmark format, so in a pinch they can be read directly in a Markdown viewer such as, but they are canonically hosted at

Articles with a published-date are "frozen" and are not expected to be changed (edits will be noted). All other articles are subject to change.

A Note on Items "of Note"

Some of the articles in The Dossier are lists of items "of note". This section attempts to give some guidance on what that means.

An item "of note" is not necesarily considered a "favourite" or "best" or "recommended" thing — in fact, sometimes it is quite the opposite case. It's more that it is something that has stuck in my mind for one reason or another, and I would hate for them to be forgotten. Thus I feel I should not leave them go unmentioned.

Whether this should include classics — i.e., things that are unlikely to ever be forgotten anyway — is a matter of some debate. But the fact is that sometimes I still have something to say about these, or notable memories of these in some way or another. There is also the not-inconsiderable question of when something even is a classic or not, as a thing which is a classic in its own domain still might not be very well-known outside that domain.

So, classics often do end up being included in lists of items "of note", but they tend to rank lower than items that I think not as many people have heard of, and that I would like more people to be exposed to.