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Differences from Pip Classic

The 2018-10-25 commit of Pip is known as Pip Classic. This is the version of Pip available at Try It Online! If you’re trying to run a Pip program on TIO and something isn’t working the way it should, you might be using a language feature that isn’t in Pip Classic. Here is a catalog of the differences between the versions and how to work around them.

Note: “lhs” = left-hand side argument of an operator and “rhs” = right-hand side argument (including the single argument of a unary operator).


  • The -x flag is not supported. Evaluate the arguments explicitly: use Va for a, V*g for g, etc.


  • The Else branch of an If statement begins with E, not EL.
  • For loops do not support destructuring assignment. Switching to a functional programming approach will usually be shorter anyway: F[ab]lPaRb'_ -> P{aRb'_}MUl with the appropriate list-formatting flag.
  • The Swap and Unify statements exist.
  • Arbitrary-length variable names starting with $ are not supported.
  • There is no block comment syntax.

Data types

  • The str/repr of a Block is a stringified Python list representing a parse tree (with the outer [] delimiters changed to {}) rather than a string that evaluates to the same Block. Don’t use the str or repr of a Block for anything except debugging purposes.

Missing operators

  • Unary %. Mod by 2 explicitly: %a -> a%2.
  • Unary **. Raise 2 to the power explicitly: **a -> 2**a.
  • :: (binary). Use the swap command instead: a::b -> Sab.
  • Unary <>. Group into size-2 chunks explicitly: <>a -> a<>2.
  • \? (ternary), \| and \& (binary), and \! (unary). Use a curly-brace function instead of a lambda, or look for another way to express the formula: _\|'x -> {a|'x}; \!_ -> _=0 if the argument is guaranteed to be a number.
  • AD (binary). Subtract and take the absolute value instead: aADb -> AB(a-b).
  • D (unary). Use -- instead, but note the slight difference in precedence: Da -> --a; Da@<2 -> --(a@<2).
  • DB (unary). Multiply by 2 explicitly: DBa -> a*2.
  • E (unary and binary). Use ** instead: Ea -> 2**a; aEb -> a**b.
  • EE (unary and binary). Use the full formula instead: EEa -> 10**a; aEEb -> a*10**b.
  • FD (unary and binary). Use FB or roll your own base-conversion: aFDb -> $+a*b**RV,#a, or (Ja)FBb if b is 36 or less and all digits are less than 10.
  • Unary FI. Filter by the identity function instead: FIa -> _FIa.
  • H (unary and binary). Use @< instead, but note the difference in precedence: Ha -> @<a; aHb -> a@<b; a.bHc-2 -> (a.b)@<(c-2).
  • HV (unary). Divide by 2 explicitly: HVa -> a//2, or a/2 if a is known to be an even number.
  • OG (unary and binary). Use one of ZG, MC, or CG instead: OGa -> 1+ZGa or 1MCa; aOGb -> 1+(aZGb) or 1MMaCGb.
  • RE (unary). Use an explicit function call instead: REa -> (fa).
  • Unary R. Use RV instead: Ra -> RVa.
  • S (unary and binary). Use @> instead (with a negated second argument if binary), but note the difference in precedence: Sa -> @>a; aSb -> a@>-b; a.bSc-2 -> (a.b)@>(2-c).
  • SQ (unary). Multiply the number by itself or use ** instead: SQa -> a*a or a**2.
  • TD (unary and binary). Use TB or roll your own base-conversion: aTDb -> ^aTBb if b is 10 or less.
  • U (unary). Use ++ instead, but note the slight difference in precedence: Ua -> ++a; Ua@<2 -> ++(a@<2).

Operators with different behavior

  • Unary #, A, AB, C, FB, and SG have higher precedence than binary @, @>, and @<. Use parentheses or another precedence-manipulation strategy as needed: A*s@<3 -> A*(s@<3) or A*Ys@<3; #l@1 -> #(l1)
  • : does not support destructuring assignment. For simple cases, use the U statement: [xyz]:a -> UxyzWa. More-complex cases may need to use a series of assignments and/or unifications: C:[xyz] -> C:xC:yC:z; [[wx][yz]]:a -> UwxW@aUyzWa@1.
  • Numeric and string equality operators (=, <=, >=, Q, LE, and GE) always return falsey when their arguments are not comparable, rather than returning truthy if the arguments are identical. (In particular, nil is not equal to nil, and a Pattern is not equal to itself under numeric comparison.) If this becomes a problem, you can explicitly check for exact equality first: a<=b -> a==b|a<=b.
  • <> does not work with a negative rhs. To group from right to left, use RV twice: a<>-4 -> RV*(RVa<>4).
  • <> does not accept a List or Range as rhs. To return a list of different groupings, map a lambda function: a<>[2 4] -> a<>_M[2 4].
  • MC does not accept a height/width List as rhs. Use binary CG with MM instead, but note that MM does not unpack the coordinate pairs: _.s.BMC[ab] -> _@0.s._@1MMaCGb.
  • N and NI do not accept a List/Range lhs with a Scalar rhs. Map a lambda function instead: [1 2 4]Na -> _NaM[1 2 4].

Missing variables

(These still act as variables, but their initial values are nil rather than the useful values they have in current Pip.)

  • p: use "()" instead.
  • G: use {g} instead, or rework your lambda function using _ and B if possible: 2*$+G -> {2*$+g} or 2*$+{g} or, if you know there will always be two arguments, 2*_+2*B.
  • VD and VN: not supported, but not particularly useful for golf anyway.


  • Using <> with a rhs of 0 or a negative number results in an infinite loop. Only use <> with positive rhs. See above for how to group from right to left.
  • A Scalar with leading whitespace in a numeric context evaluates to 0, rather than ignoring the whitespace. If leading whitespace is a possibility, strip it explicitly using |>.
  • A non-integer rhs to \, crashes the interpreter. Only use \, with integer rhs. If a non-integer rhs is a possibility, int-divide it by 1 to truncate it to an integer.
  • Using A with a Scalar rhs matching the regex 0+(\.0+)? results in nil rather than 48. Concatenating space or some other character to the end of the Scalar is one possible workaround.
  • < returns 1 when given two Lists that are equal. Swap the arguments and use > instead.
  • # and the length-comparison operators crash the interpreter when given infinite Ranges. Try to avoid taking the length of infinite Ranges. If you need to test the upper bound of a Range, use MX.
  • Iterating over an infinite Range with a lower bound of nil crashes the interpreter. Use a lower bound of 0 instead.
  • Indexing into an empty iterable and then attempting to assign a value to that expression crashes the interpreter. Make sure iterables are nonempty before attempting to assign to their items.
  • Indexing into a variable whose value is a Range gives nil. Convert to a List first (e.g. by multiplying by 1) or use math instead of indexing into a Range.
  • Applying an operator with the * meta-operator to a Block crashes the interpreter. Use a curly-brace delimited function instead of a lambda function, or find a way not to use the meta-operator: A*_ -> {A*a} or possibly A^_.
  • Weaving a List containing nil crashes the interpreter. If this ever becomes an issue, one potential workaround is to filter the List before weaving it: WVl -> WV(#_FIl).

Copyright © 2015-2022 David Loscutoff. Distributed on Github.