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Welcome to SizeCoding.org!

SizeCoding.org is a wiki dedicated to the art of creating very tiny programs for the 80x86 family of CPUs. By "very tiny programs", we mean programs that are 256 bytes or less in size, typically created by members of the demoscene as a show of programming skill. The size of these tiny programs is measured by their total size in opcode bytes, and are usually presented as executable .COM files to be run in pure DOS, a DOS VM running inside another operating system, or an emulator that can run DOS such as DOSBox.

Despite their tiny size, these programs are able to produce amazing graphical displays, playable games, and sometimes music. There are even some surprisingly effective programs in under 16 bytes, such as a maze generator in 10 bytes, a mouse-driven paint program in 16 bytes, and an "Enter the Matrix" screensaver in only 8 bytes.

The intent of this wiki is to teach x86 assembler programmers the various techniques used to create tiny demoscene intros. While these techniques can be used for other applications (boot sectors, BIOS and firmware code, etc.), the information presented here is firmly oriented towards the demoscene. Practicality and common sense are sometimes thrown out the window just to shave a single byte -- consider yourself warned.

This wiki is divided into the following major sections:

  • Getting Started - What do you need to know before starting your first tinyprog?
  • Tips, Tricks, and Techniques - The meat of the wiki. Lists of small opcodes, default environment settings, size optimization basics, and a ton of random tips.
  • Case Studies - Analysis of existing award-winning tiny programs, with comments on what choices were made and why.
  • Additional Resources - Discussion threads, competitions, repositories, and other external references that can aid you in your quest.