In this talk Damian dissects the SelfGOL program: an obfuscated, self-aware, viral quine that can:
- rewrite other Perl programs to allow them to self- replicate,
- detect un-rewritable Perl programs,
- execute itself or other Perl programs as cellular automata of arbitrary size (to play Conway’s “Game of Life”),
- animate any short text as a cycling marquee banner.
SelfGOL accomplishes these feats in under 1000 bytes of standard Perl, without importing any modules, and without using a single if, unless, while, until, for, foreach, goto, next, last, redo, map, or grep.
To do all that in under 1K of code, it relies on some extreme programming techniques, and on many of the obscure backwaters of the Perl syntax. This talk explores both.
In other words, it’s everything you never wanted to know about Perl, and should have been afraid to ask.