View Full Version : Why the lucky stiff

24-10-2010, 11:19 AM
So I've recently been quite interested in ruby, a programming language with an interesting community and philosophy. A lot of what seems to have grown around this language, seems to rest on its founder, Katz, and the once intriguingly pedantic and prolific, but now seemingly vanished "_why".

from his wiki entry:

Why the lucky stiff was the keynote speaker at RailsConf in 2006. He also had a speaking session titled "A Starry Afternoon, a Sinking Symphony, and the Polo Champ Who Gave It All Up for No Reason Whatsoever" at the 2005 O'Reilly Open Source Convention held in Portland, Oregon. It explored how to teach programming and make it more appealing to adolescents.
On 19 August 2009, his online presence was drastically truncated; his accounts on Twitter and GitHub were shut down, along with many of his personally maintained sites. His projects have since been collected and centralized on the whymirror GitHub account


He was author to some of the most intriguing ideas

such as camping:


Try Ruby:


Hackity Hack, a tool to help inspire youngins to, well, hack:


and his magnus opus, the absolutely insane and tremendously informative (poignant)_Guide_to_Ruby:


He has also inspired a day, "whyday", celebrated on the day he abruptly left the community, in which his ideas are encouraged, in order to help people remember that programming can be fun:

See how far you can push some weird corner of Ruby (or some other language).
Choose a tight constraint (for example, 4 kilobytes of source code) and see what you can do with it.
Try that wild idea you've been sitting on because it's too crazy.
You can work to maintain some of the software Why left us (although Why is more about creating beautiful new things than polishing old things).
On the other hand, Why is passionate about teaching programming to children. So improvements to Hackety Hack would be welcome.
Or take direct action along those lines, and teach Ruby to a child.

24-10-2010, 01:19 PM
polystyle desu seems to have vanished around the same time, what's become of him?