GoVerbYourNoun - Scott Adams terp in Go (featuring ChatGPT)


Ever been caught in the crossfire of buzzwords and tech trends? That’s precisely where I found myself recently, with the siren song of “generative AI” ringing in my ears. The challenge? To transform a dusty old relic of a Perl project (fondly named PerlScott, with all its BASIC charm) into the sleek, statically typed language of Go!

The magic spell? None other than ChatGPT, wielding the powerful wand of GPT-4. Here’s where you can witness the spectacle: GoVerbYourNoun

Success? Well, let’s call it a mixed bag of bytes.

Sure, the transformation worked, but oh boy, did it spawn a twisted labyrinth of debugging and many a sleepless night spent wrestling with the ghostly quirks of automatically generated code.

“Why didn’t I just rewrite it by hand?” I muttered to my coffee mug, now more of a companion than a mere vessel for caffeine.

But behold, the code lives in all its oddly nostalgic glory! Not the prettiest Go code to grace GitHub, mind you. It’s more like a BASIC time traveler wearing a Perl mask at a Go-themed party.

Want to embark on a similar quest? Got ancient code that creaks and groans? Well, I’ve left this tale here as a beacon for those who dare to tread the same path.


I was looking at this and trying to figure exactly what’s going on. Is it an interpreter for Scott Adams games written in Go? And the only use of ChatGPT was to due the original translation from Perl to Go, with you going in after to do bugfixes? It’s always nice to have interpreters more easily available!


Yes, you understood correctly! This is an interpreter for running Scott Adams’ text adventure games, and it’s written in Go.

ChatGPT helped at the beginning by changing the code from Perl to Go. After that, I went in and fixed any problems that were left. It was a bit tricky, but it’s a good example of how people can work with AI to get things done (or not).