In this question each answer will get a "toolbox" that can be used to construct a program/function. The toolbox will consist of two things:

  • a list of programming languages

  • a list of valid characters

You must write a valid program/function in one of the languages provided using only the characters in the toolbox. Your program/function should output the number of answers already present on this question.

Once you have written and posted an answer the language and characters you have used will be removed from the toolbox and 1 new language and 8 new characters will be randomly added to be used as the toolbox for the next answer.


  • Each answer will:

    • Output the number of valid answers coming before it
    • Contain a subset of the characters provided in the toolbox for that answer. (repeats are allowed)
    • Be in one of the languages from the provided toolbox
  • The next toolbox will determined by this python program. To generate the next toolbox put in the remaining languages and characters along with the post id of the last answer.

  • The language list here is all the languages available on try it online at the time of this post. The characters have char codes 0-127.

  • You may write either a full program or a function as your answer. Since REPLs are different languages they will not be allowed. (use the TIO version of every language)

  • If a language uses a special encoding the characters should be interpreted as bytes (decoded from ASCII and padded with a zero).

  • The starting toolbox will be randomized from this questions post id (128464), there will be 7 languages to start and I will add the characters echoprint0 and ascii 0-31 for free to get people started.

  • You may not answer twice in a row


Each time a person answers they will get a number of points for their answer. The goal is to get as many points as possible. For an answer in language X you will get as many turns as language X has gone unused in the toolbox. For example the first person to answer will get 1 point because the language was just added to the toolbox. There will not necessarily be an end and I will not be accepting any answers.


This is a competition, but I encourage you to put fun above winning while still staying competitive (if I could make the winning criteria "fun had" I would). Some things that are not fun:

  • Intentionally using characters you don't need to stunt future answers.
  • Attempting to game the post id system to make future tool boxes harder to use.
  • Attempting to game the post id system to make future tool boxes easier to use.

I can't prevent any one from doing these things, but I will be downvoting any answers I suspect are doing this.

On a more positive note, here are some things that are good sporting and encouraged:

  • Coordinating with other users in chat.
  • Saving characters for harder or more restrictive languages

This is a second iteration of a challenge found here. It improves a number of problems with the first one. Here is a meta discussing these questions.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What's the first toolbox? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 26, 2017 at 15:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CalculatorFeline Its linked in the question, it is seeded with the question id. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wheat Wizard
    Jun 26, 2017 at 15:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @tuskiomi the older question and the newer question are created by the same person, and it is appropriate to close older questions as duplicates of newer, better questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stephen
    Jun 26, 2017 at 18:32
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @tuskiomi The biggest difference is the number of characters added to the sandbox each time. Previously it was 12, which quickly spiraled out of control, meaning that practically every answer had all of ASCII available to it. I've lowered it to 8, which was the average number of characters used by all the answers in the last version. I would agree that the difference in seed and scoring are minor changes, but the decrease in characters is the entire reason I've done a second iteration. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wheat Wizard
    Jun 26, 2017 at 18:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm pretty sure this is impossible. Str programs require a ; (not in toolbox) to do anything when given no input. Condit and Tcl programs require a space (not in toobox) as part of the syntax. Scheme needs (. Brain-Flak can't work for obvious reasons (only character in toolbox it understands is )). Java 8 needs a { (not in toolbox) to declare a function. That leaves only maxima, which I don't think can print things without "print" or declare a function without the use of parentheses. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 3, 2018 at 0:54

3 Answers 3


This is impossible

Going through all of the languages in the langbox:

  1. The tcl programming language consists of words separated by spaces. The space character is not in the toolbox, so no valid programs can be written.
  2. Str programs by default transform input. In order for them to do anything when given no input, the ; character is required, which is not in the toolbox.
  3. The only means for a program in scheme-chez to do anything is by calling a function using parentheses. All scheme-chez programs therefore need the ( character, which is not in the toolbox
  4. Brain-Flak programs need balanced brackets. The only bracket character in the toolbox is ), so no programs containing balanced brackets are possible.
  5. Similar to scheme, maxima programs require parentheses to do anything.
  6. Java programs require the { or -> character sequences to declare a function (and all full programs need at least one function), none of which are in the toolbox.
  7. Condit programs require the word when, which contains the "e" character, which is not in the toolbox.

Proofs of impossibility are allowed as answers


2. Oasis


Try it online!

Next toolbox


1. Bash, outputs 0

echo	0

Try it online!

The code contains a literal tab.

Next toolbox

  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh :( That's too bad. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 26, 2017 at 16:02
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Update: This is valid once again :D \$\endgroup\$ Jun 26, 2017 at 16:03

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