Ixiotaba (meaning "writing," but implied to be coming from a spirit-bearing inanimate object) is a Rostran programming language developed as an alternative to the GasKIT language. Ixiotaba is unique in that, unlike GasKIT, instructions are not necessarily executed in a linear fashion.

Geographical Distribution

Ixiotaba is almost exclusively found in industrial or military applications within the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy.


Ixiotaba instructions, like all other dieseltech computer instructions, are encoded onto programming gaskets where open pores in the gasket material are treated as binary 1 bits and blank spaces are treated as binary 0 bits. Ixiotaba instruction are assembled into five by five matrices of bits, with up to five matrices arranged in each row of instructions.


Execution of an Ixiotaba program begins at the top left of the programming gasket. The read-write head of a computer designed to read Ixiotaba instructions reads all instructions in a given matrix at the same time. While the nine bits in the center are interpreted from left-to-right and from top-to-bottom for the purpose of determining the values they contain, the outer bits are read clockwise from the top. These outer bits actually encode information about the direction the read-write head should travel next to reach the next instruction, as well as any modifiers which apply to the instructions in the center. Finally, if the program is not closed by the current instruction, the head moves to the next matrix found in the direction indicated by the matrix it just read.   The unique ability of Ixiotaba programs to be read in any direction makes loops and recursion much easier to handle, but it can be space intensive for poorly optimized code. Programs with lots of these structures can be compressed to a remarkable degree through the deft implimentation of the programming language. Ixiotaba programmers sometimes regard the implementation of a pleasing set of head movements as a form of outsider art, with only other programmers and end-users appreciating their aesthetic efforts.


Ixiotaba pseudocode is written in octal, with a given matrix containing up to 7 octal numbers in addition to the direction-changing bits at the center of the matrix edges in every cardinal direction from the center. Two octal numbers together can constitute an instruction, with the additional number representing other modifiers. A set of three zero bits in the top row of the center three-by-three portion of the matrix indicates that the central numbers should be considered number radixes, with the top number in the 8s column and the bottom in the 1s column for the given value, from top to bottom, instead of instructions.

Cover image: by Darke Lv


Author's Notes

This programming language's non-linear approach is inspired by the Befunge programming language, which also executes in different directions at different times.

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19 Dec, 2020 14:51

This is so interesting and clever. I like the idea that it can be read in different directions.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet