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Hackety Hack: An Amazing Ruby Environment for Beginners

By Peter Cooper / April 26, 2007


Why The Lucky Stiff is set to guarantee himself a place in the Programming Hall of Fame with his new project, Hackety Hack, an uber-simple programming environment for kids, beginners, and amateur coders. It attempts to resolve a problem brought up in an old article of why's, "The Little Coder's Predicament", which lamented the ability for kids to quickly get coding on modern platforms, unlike in the Commodore 64 days.

Currently the system is in beta and only available for Windows, but OS X and Linux are to follow. Why's ingenuity even goes as far as the installation program which makes it really easy for users to specify where they want their programs to be stored.


As with any of Why's works, words cannot do it justice, so head on over to the official Hackety Hack site and check it all out.


  1. Mourner says:

    This is absolutely awesome! I even have the urge to translate it into Russian or Ukrainian to present to local geek kids, though it would lost some of it's brilliance. :)

  2. Martijn says:

    _why never ceases to amaze me. I can only hope this will introduce more kids to chunky bacon! Oh, and programming too. I loved to program turbo basic games as a kid on my Atari 130XE.

  3. zerohalo says:

    Wow, awesome. I've been teaching Ruby to my 8 year old daughter, but this will make it so much easier - esp to get beyond console based programs.

    Please, we need a Linux version. Some of us don't want our kids growing up on Windows!

  4. juantar says:

    Can't sign up on the website, I have tons of questions for the forum. I tried it but had to stop at lesson 6 which requires an account. So far, I see the killer program that will bring back the joy of teaching programming to total beginners.

  5. _why says:

    Hey, thanksety thanks for mentioning this, Peter. To be featured on Ruby Inside is a deluxe and golden medallion, one which constantly reflects the image of a pony dining in the meadow, so graceful and so chewy. In my greed to possess the horse, my foul breath fogs up the mirage and, for now, another pony is dead. See ya!!

  6. Daniel Fischer says:

    Wow this looks interesting. Even though I may not be a kid anymore, I'd still say I am an amateur and I could probably use this. Woo!

  7. Peter Cooper says:

    _why: Ponies are not chewy. You speak with the naivety of one who has not snacked upon a Shetland!

  8. jc says:

    Uh oh. more programming competition. Tell Lucky Stiff to stop! We'll all lose our jobs!

  9. LninYo says:

    Where's Matthew Huntbach now?

  10. Ara Vartanian says:

    I wonder if something like this (built on these principles) wouldn't be just as good at teaching non-technical adults how to program.

  11. Hendy Irawan says:

    I especially love what _why wrote in his page:

    "Ruby is a combination of simple words and punctuation."

    SO TRUE. :">

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