A specification/standard for writing pseudocode.


Peering at an alien
               server rack from inside a yew tree.
Peering at a server rack from inside a yew tree.


Pseudotaxus is a collection of standard symbols (words and punctuation) that lend some consistent form to the definition of an algorithm in pseudocode.

It's meant to provide my pseudocode with an interpretable form, syntax-highlighting, and most importantly a limit on which words carry predefined meaning in a listing.

Why a Standard?

I'm not a huge fan of ambiguity.

Especially when it comes to writing software, I prefer a clear and consistent syntax (hello, s-expressions!) to having multiple ways to write/express things. So before I started pursuing credentials as a Computer Scientist, I had mostly ignored the concept of Pseudocode and Modeling Languages in General.

Of course, this is untenable when my classes/mentor/coworkers all expect me to write out pseudocode at various points in my day.

I hadn't been able to find a standard I thought was expressive enough for what they wanted, and defined enough for what I needed. So I decided to roll my own, which has turned into pseudotaxus.

What's with the name?

Pseudotaxus is a genus of the yew family that has exactly one species: Pseudotaxus Chienii. It's remarkable because it has white arils instead of the normal red for yews, stiffer leaves with white bands on the bottom, and no specific cultivar.

I felt this was appropriate for a few reasons: First, I go my the name "yewscion" online a lot (so, yew trees make sense). Next, the white berries and bands on the leaves might symbolize either a vacancy (as in a blank sheet of paper) or a compliancy (as in art, where white is often the starting state, or rice, where it takes on flavors added to it). Finally, the fact that "Pseudo" is in the name makes sense, for pseudocode.