Based on this closed question on stack overflow, what is the shortest way to stimulate scope for variables in an input. For simplicity, print is replaced with >.

copying critical information from the linked source:

[ and ] start and end a new scope.

Within scopes any changes to a variable outside of that scope is not permanent and is reverted when the scope has left, but the outer values are used to determine if a variable is undefined and its starting value.

Input will always start with [ and will end with matching ]
If its not defined then value should be 0
All input that is not a variable is a number with no decimal points. as in 10 or 582
> a means print the contents of a
a 10 assigns 10 to a
a b assigns the contents of b to a
Variables should be considered strings: one 1 is valid syntax
It is not required for the input to contain the print command >

Note on scoring:

You may chose how to input and output the "code", but it should be explained in the answer.

I answered this on the linked page in java, but I did not go for shortest code.
Comment any suggestions or questions, so I can improve my future posts. Shortest code by character wins. Good luck.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What is meant by "All input that is not a variable is an integer"? And why mention Java, which is actually quite different? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 8:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ The interesting thing is, > is a special variable that outputs its value when assigned to! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


Python 2, 165

def f(v):
 while 1:
    if'['in s:f(dict(v))
    elif']'in s:break
    elif'>'in s:print v.get(s[1],0)

Character count assumes tabs are used for the second level of indentation.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Nice solution. c=b in v and v[b]or 0 can be replaced with c=v.get(b,0). \$\endgroup\$
    – primo
    Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 8:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. Great suggestion; using .get helps a lot. \$\endgroup\$
    – grc
    Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 9:03

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