Today is a Whyday!

What is Whyday? It’s a day dedicated to Why the Lucky Stiff, a programming hero of mine.

He created Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby, which served as my introduction to the Ruby programming language. He’s also authored a massive collection of open-source projects, including Camping, a small web framework; Markaby, a pure-Ruby templating language; and Hpricot, an HTML parser. He even created his own programming language called Potion, which has really beautiful syntax and semantics. (Everything is constructed from objects and mixins, but I won’t spoil it for you… just read the README.)

Why’s project that is closest to my heart is Hackety Hack, a framework designed to make programming fun for kids.

So, what happend to Why? Nobody really knows. On August 19, 2009, he deleted his Twitter and GitHub accounts, powered down his web server, and disappeared like Keyser Söze.

We recognize the anniversary of that date by celebrating Why. If you go to, they offer some suggestions for how to celebrate, including:

  • Try that wild idea you’ve been sitting on because it’s too crazy.
  • Choose a tight constraint (for example, 4 kilobytes of source code) and see what you can do with it.
  • Teach a child to code.

If you do something cool, make sure to tweet it with the hashtag #whyday and follow @celebratewhyday on Twitter.

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