Steve Klabnik

Hackety Hack 1.0 - learn programming with Ruby

Merry Christmas everybody! Full disclosure: this is my particular gift to Open Source, and future programmers everywhere.

Hackety Hack is a project that I inherited from _why. It’s the best way for people who’ve never learned programming to get their feet wet. It uses Ruby, combined with a GUI toolkit named Shoes, another _why project, to make it really easy to make all kinds of animations, games, and other applications.

Hackety Hack Tutor

Here’s an example bit of code:

label, time = nil, :height => 150, :width => 250 do
  background "rgb(240, 250, 208)"

  stack :margin => 10 do
    start = button "Start" do
      time =
      label.replace "Stop watch started at #{time}"
    stop = button "Stop" do
      label.replace "Stopped, #{ - time} seconds elapsed."
    label = para "Press start to begin timing."

Here’s a screenshot of this in action:

shoes timer

As you can see, it uses Ruby’s blocks extensively.

Shoes isn’t just for really simple apps. Hackety Hack is itself written entirely in Shoes. :) Here’s an example of Pong in Shoes:

The source code for this actually comes with Hackety, as an example. It’s about 50 lines

There’s also a web application that it integrates with. You can upload the programs that you make and then share them with other people.

Anyway, enough chatter. Enjoy your holiday! Merry Christmas!

[Github] [Website GitHub] [README] [Website] [Development Mailing list]


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