In the fantasy novel
s of Rick Cook
, a development
system for creating magic spell
s in a manner similar to computer program
s. The name is an acronym
for "Wiz Zumwalt
Demon Operating System," and is based on the early work of Wiz Zumwalt
in the magical World, as modified by a programming
team led by Jerry Andrews
The native programming language of WIZ-DOS has been described as "a bastard version of Forth crossed with LISP and some features from C and Modula-2 thrown in for grins." (It is possible to use other programming languages as well; Jerry Andrews once created an APL compiler for WIZ-DOS.) Programs--that is to say, spells--are created with assistance from an "Emac" editing demon, and are usually executed by pronouncing the name of the spell, possibly prefixed with the command word "backslash," and followed by the command "exe" which starts the spell. For example, the command "backslash light exe" is used to create a magical illumination in the immediate vicinity. Other, more complex forms of spell execution are also available. A sufficiently complex spell takes the appearance of a demon, usually with an appearance related to the spell in question, or to the mental imagery of the caster.
Due to the nature of magic spells in general, WIZ-DOS incorporates extensive debugging and security facilities. All compiled spells contain a checksum, which is used to abort execution if the spell has been modified after compilation. Critical pieces of spell code are executed in a triply-redundant fashion with voting; if the results from all three algorithms do not match, the spell is aborted.
WIZ-DOS has been mostly successful to date in its design goals of making magic accessible to more people, as well as safer and more effective. There have been notable exceptions, however, such as the demon_debug spell.
Sadly, WIZ-DOS is not available in the "real" world. Programmer Judith Conally wrote a syntax checker for the spell language that ran under MS-DOS, and was developing a cross-compiler as well, but this work was never completed.
Sources: Rick Cook, The Wizardry Compiled, The Wizardry Cursed, The Wizardry Quested