It's beginning to look a lot like Source Code Amnesty Day (April 1)

The days are getting longer,* snow and ice are turning to rain and mud,** Spring Thing is getting closer and closer,*** and that can mean only one thing:**** we’re only a few weeks away from Source Code Amnesty Day 2024!***** After the smashing success of last year’s inaugural celebration, I’m hoping April 1, 2024 can once more be a day when we all bring out our source code for public view and use, regardless of how embarrassed we may be about the various hacks, workarounds, abandoned features, and general ugliness that lurk therein.

I won’t rehash all the arguments I made in last year’s thread for why this is a good idea, but I will say that as far as I can tell the experiment was very much a success – lots and lots of folks participated and released their source code, and I’ve seen a fair bit of discussion of different tricks and ideas people have come up with based on the newly-released source (an experienced author even told me that they found a useful example in the incredibly-shoddy code of my first game, proving that you can in fact make a purse out of a sow’s ear).

So hopefully this will be a good opportunity to continue the trend and mark Source Code Amnesty Day as an annual occurrence; I know a lot of folks cleared their backlogs last year, but this is a perfect chance to release the source for an IF Comp or Spring Thing game from last year, or for a jam entry that otherwise might seem too small to be worth putting out there. And the spirit of Source Code Amnesty Day is of course ecumenical, so you’re encouraged to celebrate however makes sense for you: if you’re a Twine author, say, you’re already ahead of the game since the source is embedded in the game file, but this could be a chance to add some comments to make your work more useful for other authors.

Last year, folks mostly uploaded their source to the Archive and linked it via IFDB, which I think continues to make sense. They also flagged their contributions in this thread, which was cool to see so hopefully that’ll also repeat this year. And if anyone has any questions, ideas, or suggestions, please share those too!

* Except in the southern hemisphere, of course, or the broad equatorial zone where nothing’s changed enough to notice.
** If you live somewhere with sufficient precipitation and chilliness, that is.
*** … right, except it’s Autumnal Jumble for y’all antipodeans.
**** Actually it could mean lots of things.
***** I don’t have anything to put here, I just got in the habit of adding asterisks, but as long as we’re together, these are some potential thread titles I rejected: Source Code Amnesty Day 2: The Quickening; 2 Source Code 2 Amnesty; and I Know What You Did Last Source Code Amnesty Day.


“2 Source Code 2 Amnesty” :joy:

I love this whole concept!! I don’t have much to contribute yet but I’m looking forward to sharing what I have, and being inspired by other authors’ work.


Thanks to last year’s thread, I’ve been making my code available on Github more regularly.

I’m looking forward to see more spaghetti code dropping this year :stuck_out_tongue:


WPTGYSCAOSCAD (WIPT-jis-SKAH-oh-SKAD): We Pretend To Grant Your Source Code Amnesty On Source Code Amnesty Day


Supposing you want to release your source code for non-commercial use only. Can that work with the IFArchive?


Yes, you can upload files to the archive with any license you prefer.


As some sort of motivation, I’ve summarised last year’s haul on the relevant IFWiki page.

(I’ve also created a stub page for this year’s, to get it on the calendar.)


I thought you had to be

Thanks. that’ good to hear.

What we need for something like the IFArchive is a way to live update changes. You know, like updating on github. The problem with source code is that it’s always changing. It would be nice to be able to update the IFArchive version really easily.

Like running a “push” script or somesuch concept.

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Just giving the thread a Monday-morning bump – we’re just two weeks out so wanted to make sure the second-most-exciting IF thing that happens on April 1st is top of mind!


Wait… IFComp states that you’re allowed to release source code to a WIP, as long as the game isn’t public… Right?

Because if so, I’ll probably release 2 files of my WIP, which will make you understand the game in a certain way. Not the right one, mind you, but just a little snippet…

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My understanding is that you can put it in a private source code repository, but not a public source code repository.


I think otherwise, but maybe not! I found this under the rules on the website:

All entries must be previously unreleased at the opening of judging. (…) Publicly shared source code does not count as a release. (…)


That sounds pretty definitive. I must have been thinking of other comps, such as (possibly) ParserComp, where this had been discussed at length.


Fair enough, it does seem odd. But then again, it might be annoying since I don’t think it’s totally free to have a private repository on GitHub and be able to share it only with certain people.


I’m ready to share some of my beginner-Inform source code from Bradisson Rayburn’s Revenge when the day comes! I’ve been considering Jimin, but that one’s pretty broken and might hurt more than it helps. My two Twines I’d be okay with releasing too.


Does it make sense to release twee files of my Twine game? People can download the game and extract it themselves can’t they?


I think this is meant to be why it’s like that, but… I always sing it when ever I see it:

It’s beginning to look a lot like SCA-AD, at Int-fi-ic-tion…

(To the theme of It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas) :slightly_smiling_face:


You’re close – canonically, it’s sung to the tune of It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fish-Men.

I believe this is a new rule in the past year or so, meant to make it easier for authors to use GitHub without accidentally making themselves ineligible.


We’re less than a week out, which means there’s still plenty of time to participate!

Here, so this isn’t a completely content-free bump, have a lightly-on-theme Mountain Goats song.

EDIT: I would be remiss if I didn’t note, for other Mountain Goats fans, that this is from the show with the legendary ad-libbed t-shirt song.


Is it against the rules of the event to ask someone to participate?

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