Subtle Inform 7 reference - Why's Closure

I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with _why, or why the lucky stiff. He was a programmer and writer who wrote a bunch of neat things before disappearing from the Internet in 2009, taking his work and blog and Twitter with him (though most of what he made has apparently been collected into one place since then).

Recently I was helping a friend learn to program (so she could mod an RPG Maker game, but I digress) and I became reacquainted with his url= Guide to Ruby[/url], one of the texts that helped me learn Ruby (I think my first programming language, and certainly the one that instilled in me a love of programming and beautiful code). Then I became curious to read a little more on _why and what happened to him, and I stumbled on this article, which talks about a… thing _why wrote and published via printer spool sometime in 2013. (Here’s the document on Scribd.)

It’s quite a fascinating read - full of _why’s characteristic writing style, with wit and candor and a gravity that makes even mundane details seem significant.

I mention it here because, starting sometime on page 53 (of that Scribd document) and ending on the next page, are written several paragraphs that follow the patterns of (perhaps somewhat redundant - obviously he’s writing in this way for effect, not to make a working game - but probably compilable) Inform 7 code.

The whole thing is an excellent read. I was just amused and slightly startled by the fact that someone responsible for one of the formative texts for me as a programmer would also be familiar with a language that currently interests me!

Andy Baio (who I believe is also wax pancakes, the proprietor of playfic) compiled _why’s Inform source at, and you can play and view it there.

Hah! I like the name, too. I know I can’t go read the book, but this is the next best thing.

I’d always been interested in learning Ruby. I’ll have to check Why’s writing out, now…so much mystery and odd stuff here.