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Jabberwocky In ActionScript 156

VeryVito writes "You can tell Flash programming is beginning to grow up: It's not just for designers anymore, but for real, honest-to-goodness tech geeks. As evidence, I present The ActionScript Jabberwocky. Enjoy!" It's almost as good as reading it in the original Klingon.
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Jabberwocky In ActionScript

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  • Ugh (Score:2, Funny)

    by DrMrLordX ( 559371 )
    No more Romulan Ale at diplomatic functions! Jeez.
  • Oh My (Score:4, Funny)

    by MikeDX ( 560598 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @04:44AM (#9988902) Journal
    Jabberwocky in actionscript.. What's next may I ask? Shakespeare in perl?
  • Uhh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lightdarkness ( 791960 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @04:45AM (#9988907) Homepage Journal
    I'm a tad confused, are we supposed to find this funny?
  • The original... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @04:45AM (#9988909)

    ...made more sense.

  • bug? (Score:3, Funny)

    by osmethnee ( 717516 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @04:46AM (#9988912)
    surely 'brillig' should be set to true?
  • by Vo0k ( 760020 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @04:51AM (#9988927) Journal
    And if so, what does it do? I guess not much of an useful thing.
    I think the Obfuscated C Code Contest poems in C were better, as they at least had to compile to something useful.
    • Perhaps, but this is an ActionScript programmer. If he had the requisite skills to munge the C preprocessor to produce poetry in code (that love letters one being my favourite), then he wouldn't be programming in ActionScript!

      ...he'd be programming in Perl :P

  • How appropriate
  • by zxflash ( 773348 )
    ah the benefits of having lots of free time on your hands :)
  • The original (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hew ( 31074 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @04:54AM (#9988936) Homepage
    Lewis Carroll

    'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!"

    He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought--
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.

    And, as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

    One two! One two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    "And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
    He chortled in his joy.

    'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.
    • Re:The original (Score:2, Informative)

      by lahi ( 316099 )
      And obviously the Flash programmer didn't understand a word of it, otherwise he would have written
      rather than
      • Re:The original (Score:2, Interesting)

        by mad.frog ( 525085 )
        Depends. I always assumed that "mome" was an adjective describing "rath", presumably a noun, in which case


        might be more appropriate...
        • Correct! (Score:3, Interesting)

          Correct, at least as far as it can be. Carroll has Humpty Dumpty give an explanation:

          "And then 'mome raths'?" said Alice. "If I'm not giving you too much trouble."

          "Well a 'rath' is a sort of green pig, but 'mome' I'm not certain about. I think it's sort for 'from home'--meaning that they'd lost their way, you know."

          "And what does 'outgrabe' mean?"

          "Well, 'outgribing' is something between bellowing an whistling, with a kind of sneeze in the middle: however, you'll hear it done, maybe--down in the w

          • (From The Annotated Alice "The Definitive Edition".)

            16. The opening stanza of " Jabberwocky" first appeared in Mischmasch, the last of a series of private little "periodicals" that young Carroll wrote, illustrated and hand-lettered for the amusement of his brothers and sisters. In an issue dated 1855 (Carroll was then twenty-three), under the heading "Stanza of .Anglo-Saxon Poetry," the following "curious fragment" appears: ...

            Carroll then proceeds to interpret the words as follows:

            BRYLLYG ( derived from
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Here is an old parody of the poem, i remember reading both this and the original in high school.


      Twas Brillo and G.E. Stoves
      Did Proctor-Gamble in the Glade
      All Pillsbury were the Tasty Loaves
      And in a Minute Maid

      "Beware the Station Break, my son,
      The voice that lulls, the ads that vex,
      Beware the Doctor's Claim and shun
      That horror called Brand-X!"

      He took his Q-Tip swab in hand,
      Long time the Tension Headache fought,
      So Dristan he by a Mercury,
      And Bayer break'd in thought.

      And as in Bufferin Gulf he
    • "You seem very clever at explaining words, Sir", said Alice. "Would you kindly tell me the meaning of the poem 'Jabberwocky'?"

      "Let's hear it", said Humpty Dumpty. "I can explain all the poems that ever were invented--and a good many that haven't been invented just yet."

      This sounded very hopeful, so Alice repeated the first verse:

      'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.

      "That's enough to begin with"

    • A splendid poem, and the bane of translators (Douglas Hofstadter wrote about that). One of the nice things is that it marked the creation of the word 'chortle' which is now in pretty wide circulation.
  • by larsl ( 30423 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @04:55AM (#9988938) Homepage
    I think it's been two years since I've had to email a webmaster and ask, "Flash only--WTF?" There are still some rubes in non-tech industries that load up on Flash crap, but isn't Flash mostly an anachronism these days?
    • to some degree. The player is widely distributed, so if you have the creativity and talent to make something richer than plain ole web pages - why not?

      Just make a really plain html version - those people who have either disabilities or an anti-flash bias will appreciate the simplicity as their browsers or minds respectively will not be able to process all that pretty design anyhow.
      • Re:Flash is good (Score:2, Insightful)

        by vidarh ( 309115 )
        The only thing flash is good for is making it easier for me to selectively turn off ads and annoying useless content in a quick and painless way (obviously by making sure NOT to have the player)
      • The player may be widely distributed but it won't run on Linux on my AMD64 machine (or a Mac, or a number of other architectures). So since there are no alternatives to the Macromedia player that we can compile ourselves, HTML content is still much appreciated.

        And the (smallish) AMD64 crowd is at least at an advantadge since we can at least setup a 32 bit subsystem and use that hack to run 32 bit binaries. It does require installing a second copy of most of the OS though. So you end up with the regular 64
        • by edremy ( 36408 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @08:50AM (#9989878) Journal

          The player may be widely distributed but it won't run on Linux on my AMD64 machine (or a Mac, or a number of other architectures)

          That's funny- my (OSX) Mac runs Flash just fine. It also runs Flash fine in Classic emulation mode Not only that, I've got the MX development kit for it, which is indistinguishable from the PC version.

          Or do you mean Flash isn't available for Linux running on a Mac? I'm sure all 3 of you must be very unhappy. If you're using odd combinations of hardware, don't expect to get much commercial support.

          • Re:Flash is good (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Fred_A ( 10934 )
            And *oh surprise* all Windows users can also run Flash player without trouble. I know it runs on MacOS, don't be silly.

            However all users of odd combinations of hardware and software end up making quite a lot of people in the end. And the point of the web actually *is* to make documents device independant. Using Flash for navigation or vital content breaks that.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      There are still some rubes in non-tech industries that load up on Flash crap, but isn't Flash mostly an anachronism these days?

      Uh, no. What makes you think that? Flash is *everywhere*. Hell, even Slashdot show Flash ads.

      So the player isn't open source. Big deal. Macromedia provide specs so you can write your own player and embrace it.
    • rubes in non-tech industries
      So, like, the majority of the Web then?

      If you spent some rube time surfing, you would know that there are only too many Flash only sites still around.

    • by PhoenixFlare ( 319467 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @08:19AM (#9989687) Journal
      but isn't Flash mostly an anachronism these days?

      Only if you hold to the attitude that if you don't like or find something useful, then nobody else could possibly get any value out of it.

      Which seems to be all too common around here, sadly.

      Flash can be a great tool for animation, games, and even site navigation if used properly.
    • State of Flash (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jaaron ( 551839 )
      Flash is alive and well. It's increasingly used for games, ads, online cartoons, and what are often called "rich internet applications."

      Like any other technology, Flash has its place. It can be abused (like javascript) but also fills a niche and solves many problems very well (IMHO much better than Java Applets). I doubt you'll find someone writing up technical documentation in it, but for a web based interactive game or animation, it's a good choice.
    • Flash, like Java applets, is best for mindless fun. Thus this story.
  • True geeks? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dmayle ( 200765 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @05:01AM (#9988950) Homepage Journal

    You can tell Flash programming is beginning to grow up

    Quite the contrary. I'll believe it's beginning to grow up when I see a non-Macromedia plugin, and someone's ported DeCSS to it... ;)

  • I have always been wary of using actionscript for anything other than banner ads and website introductions. One thing I have seen is that people use actionscript for login systems; which can usually be hacked in less than 1 minute (with exception of SQl based), most people use this tutorial [flashkit.com]infact.
    • by Jotham ( 89116 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @07:23AM (#9989377)
      So basically...

      Flash allows me to use if statements
      Some people use this to write if (answer=="Password") {...
      therefore I should be wary of flash

      And this is modded as Insightful?

      Just another, "You can do stupid things in Flash, therefore Flash is bad", post. Wouldn't the better lesson to be learnt be, don't trust client-side code as security.

      PS. Drag a C/C++ program in notepad and you can see all it's ASCII strings too...
  • I'd rather see a nice, fancy Hunt the Wumpus ActionScript - but I'm not sure a graphical interface would do the game justice..
    It would have to be the Doom III engine, then. :)
  • by panurge ( 573432 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @05:17AM (#9988988)
    To be proper Flash, this needs massive load times. What about doing the Hunting of the Snark?

    Actually, Dodgson needs to be encoded in a seriously object oriented language. The various characters have methods and properties...it'll look better after I've slept on it.

    • Actually, Dodgson needs to be encoded in a seriously object oriented language. The various characters have methods and properties...it'll look better after I've slept on it.

      Huh? How is ActionScript not "seriously object oriented"?

      ActionScript 2 (which is nearly identical to ECMAScript 4) is a dynamically-typed object-oriented language that's really a joy to work in... much more pleasant, IMHO, than, say, Python, since it also allows for compile-time type checking without compromising the dynamic typing

  • by DeComposer ( 551766 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @05:18AM (#9988991) Journal
    Isn't that like bragging about your Packard Bell 486SX-25 running Windows 95 on a 14" grayscale monitor? With no mouse?
  • Perl Poetry (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rufus211 ( 221883 ) <{gro.hsikcah} {ta} {todhsals-sufur}> on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @05:19AM (#9988995) Homepage
    I personally think that most Perl Poetry [google.com] is far more interesting and original.
  • hey if Flash isn't just for designers anymore I guess that would make Director & Shockwave the new tech toys [nonoche.com] for ubergeeks...
  • WTF? (Score:4, Funny)

    by jonr ( 1130 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @05:39AM (#9989032) Homepage Journal
    What idiot greenlighted this? Oh...
  • by tomee ( 792877 )
    I won't be impressed until all of Göthes Faust is done in ActionScript.
    • Actually it is "Goethe" not "Göthe"

    • Excuse my inability to get written German right, but didn't he actually write something like
      Nur mit Beschrankten zeigt sich erst der Meister
      - i.e. it is through working within limitations that one shows ones mastery of something. And Doktor Faustus in Actionscript would be working in one hell of a limitation.
  • Some trick of the light no doubt, but super cool all the same!
  • by tod_miller ( 792541 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @06:21AM (#9989127) Journal
    Computing magazine (UK) has a back-bytes page which showcased some funny computer language based lyrics and poems.

    Jabberwocky is a fantastic piece of work, it is the picasso of text, the lurid incandecent imagination of profound insanity.

    I think it should be in Python, Perl and php (sic) now.

    Lets not forget JavaWocky...
  • BB---|---------[OR]___
    |_[NOT]___[ ]

    Couldn't draw logic gates in ASCII art, but if you follow it, it reads "Two 'B' or not two 'B'" ... And, logically, it's always true!
  • May I please ask, for the benefit of those of use whose web URLs are logged at work, that URLS like that one are highlighted as "you may not want to click this at work under any circumstances because it's got a well-dodgy URL that could stand out like a sore thumb in weblogs as being potentially offensive"?

    For those that don't know, the link is to "turdhead.com"


    • by mr_z_beeblebrox ( 591077 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @07:17AM (#9989347) Journal
      May I please ask, for the benefit of those of use whose web URLs are logged at work

      Might I ask that to avoid being a luser you look to see what you are clicking on and don't depend on the admins to hold your hand? Seriously, that attitude is WHY viruses and trojans spread (albeit different circumstances)
      • Quite right; I ought to have checked and do on most other sites I visit. But I've somehow got into this terrible habit of trusting that slashdot main stories about technology are unlikely to link to websites with URLs which include naughty-bad-words.

        Of course, the admins hold our hands very nicely with links like this [google.com] because of something to do with goats, I understand. Just never expected them to post one themselves.

        Oh, and thanks for the pointless flame [winternet.com]; been ages since I had one of those.. reminds me
        • Oh, and thanks for the pointless flame [winternet.com]; been ages since I had one of those..

          I am a sysadmin and was removing a stupid trojan from a users account when I posted that, so more venting than was necessary. Uh...regarding flames, usenet etc...I am uh...chronologically advanced :-).
          • more venting than was necessary

            I figured it sounded a bit like that.. I'm a VB programmer (bad enough in itself) and my machine has decided that it likes doing its own thing this week, thank you. So I'm pretty tetchy myself :)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's rediculous to think someone would get their panties all in a bundle over that. I think you need to lighten up. Besides I think most admins avoid logging as much as possible so they can't know because they really don't want to know. If you work somewhere that would get angry with you over that, then they were probably already angry that you were even reading slashdot instead of working.

      turdhead is about the equivelent of "doodoo-head", which is something the 3 yr olds call eachother. Maybe it's not all
      • It's rediculous to think someone would get their panties all in a bundle over that.

        So do I, but I knew a guy whose job it was to go through every single link everyone in the company had visited. They checked everything. It was a client site, and I'm very glad I don't work there any more, thank you. Had great fun making up outrageous URLs on my last day, though..

        It happens. There are plenty of paranoid/anal companies out there to work for.

        turdhead is about the equivelent of "doodoo-head"

        Not in th
  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @07:19AM (#9989358)
    Because MM ignored Linux, I ignored Flash for two years after having finished some large projects with it (and thus noticed it's shortcomings), but earlier this year a client aproached me with a large Flash / ActionScript job and after looking into it I took the challange.
    The MM Flash IDE is as crappy as ever, but ActionScript 2 is a full range PL, very similar to Java. With proper exception handling, OOP and all that stuff.
    as. files can be imported and compiled in meaning you don't have to use MMs shoddy AS editor anymore. Despite the utter crap that's said about AS and Flash on /., it is a powerfull technology with some very cool and unique features. And it's powerfull VM is *very* small by modern standards. Due to the fact that Flashers usually can't programm very well it isn't catching on that good, but I expect Flash/AS 2 to gain serious foothold in other territories than 'flashy websites' very soon. Ming [sourceforge.net] and Xical [xical.org], for instance, are good examples for serious OSS projects using Flash/ActionScript.
    • huuurrahhh (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      well said and its nice to see a positive comment.

      after all - lets be honest - its a hell of a lot nicer to look at than anything acheivable in HTML (And a lot more reliable not so much of that browser difference issue to worry about).

      and yes this is from experience - i use flash as The tool for the front end side of projects.
      a net based multi player quiz (- xmlsocket comms back to server)
      interactive educational tools.
      data reporting front end (loading xml data and graphically displaying it). ...and oh
    • Too bad there's no free tools to make Flash. Sorry but I'm not paying Macromedia $500 to develop for their format. At least the J2SDK is freely available.
  • Flash = Thin Client (Score:3, Informative)

    by truffle ( 37924 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @08:53AM (#9989901) Homepage
    Flash has grown up. What it represents (to me) is a potentially really solid thin client for building remote applications.

    Why not use Java? Well compare the amount and quality of flash games to java games, that's my metric for my belief that at least for gaming, that flash is probably a better dev environment.

    But the huge problem right now is the lack of quality documentation/tutorials/books on actionscript 2.0 (released last november). It's not completely backwards compatible. Most of the books are oriented towards dumbasses, and they are just actionscript 1.0 books with the code tweaked so it works on 2.0 (i.e. not OOPy).

    If anyone has a good recommendation in terms of actionscript 2.0 books, I'd appreciate it. I have this one [oreilly.com], which is a good book, but is very oriented towards AS1.0 programmers moving to AS2.0. It's hard to find a book that is geek friendly, example oriented, and designed from scratch for actionscript 2.0.

  • Bah (Score:4, Informative)

    by xenostar ( 746407 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @10:41AM (#9991080)
    All the Flash-bashing on Slashdot has got to stop. Macromedia has done an outstanding job with Flash. They developed an extremely efficient file format (take a look at the SWF file format specification, it's truly beautiful), they opened it for everyone to use. They developed a powerful language, that, although of course interpreted, compiles into something as close to a binary as you can get. Yes, their IDE costs money, and there's no native linux version, but i see people who paid money for MSVS bitch about it, and i dont have to explain the irony here. And as far as a native linux version, well, that is for the same reasons that no other major company ported their software, because not enough people would buy it. So, please, stop harping on it so much, it's a result of many people's hard work and cudos to them for making it so popular.
    • Well said. See my journal for an explanation of why /. is inundated with Flash-bashers. And stand by to be bombarded by open-source fundamentalist nit-pickers who will doubtless be able to pick holes in it.
  • Actually Flash can be used to solve serious and useful stuff too.

    DENG is a browser written in Actionscript 1 (zero install deployment of latest web standards to the vast majority of web users that have the Flash Player 6 VM installed). Partly supports CSS3, XHTML, XForms, XFrames, SVG, SMIL, ..

  • by jabberwock ( 10206 ) on Tuesday August 17, 2004 @11:09AM (#9991413) Homepage
    BeWARE, dammit. Time for a new username.
  • The fact that I know the entirety of Jabberwocky by heart or the fact that I understood exactly how every step of the ActionScript code related to the poem.

    I've never felt like as much of a nerd as I did while reading that :(

  • ...for Jabberwocky in Brainf*ck.
  • This brings to mind one of the finest science fiction stories I have ever read: "Mimsy Were the Borogoves", by Lewis Padgett. Some kind soul has placed the full text online, though the "next" links are broken.
    1. http://users.ev1.net/~holliser/Prescience/Text/Mi m sy1.html [ev1.net]
    2. http://users.ev1.net/~holliser/Prescience/Text/Mim sy2.html [ev1.net]
    3. http://users.ev1.net/~holliser/Prescience/Text/Mim sy3.html [ev1.net]
    4. http://users.ev1.net/~holliser/Prescience/Text/Mim sy4.html [ev1.net]
    5. http://users.ev1.net/~holliser/Prescience/Text/ [ev1.net]

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford