Decentralizing _why's projects (aka the ruby community is awesome)

After hearing about _why’s departure, in a foolish gust of barnraising
I set up a central mirror of _why’s projects on github (http://
whymirror (A mirror of _why's executable poetry) · GitHub). Then I realized I could never handle the
eternity of emails from that account alone… so I spammed each ex-
_why repo I could find with a pull request asking for a new maintainer
and help recovering missing projects.

Check out for the results.

Within 48 hours, dozens of people have stepped forward with
contributions. Volunteers have come forward to take over management of
the projects, and currently 15 out of 23 projects have custodians. We
believe all the major code projects have been recovered, now hosted on
github (check whymirror for a list). Github management are helping to
untangle the projects’ networks to be rooted by the new maintainers.
Seth R. (@greatseth) has stepped up to help manage whymirror.

This is an amazing testament to the ruby community. If _why’s
disappearing act is a test, I think we’ll pass.

There’s more to go, however, until his works are fully decentralized.
Here’s how you can help:

== Several projects still need maintainers: ==

  • Most importantly, [hpricot] needs a maintainer, though @ecarnevale
    has volunteered to help that person. (hpricot may already have a
    maintainer, and I apologize if that’s the case).

  • A couple people have reluctantly stepped forward to run the [shoes]
    project, but they could use help.

  • hacketyhack exists in a couple different states and needs a
    custodian. See

  • 8cpj, fakeplus, hoodwinkd, sandbox and yown all need custodians.
    These should be low-traffic given their age and size.

  • If any of the projects (listed as with or without custodians)
    already have a defacto custodian, please let us know – there are no
    coups, only volunteers stepping forward to pitch in.

== Recover missing code ==

The major projects have been found, but there’s still some stuff

  • The “Try Ruby” code is missing. This would be a grave loss if we
    can’t find it. Also will need a custodian of course.

  • If you have SVN pulls from, please check
    the date against the repos on – yours may be more recent.

  • There’s one repo from rubyforge –
    – that may have been a why project. Anyone own this? If you have
    code, please set up a github repo and message whymirror.

== Documentation recovery ==

There was a wealth of documentation on,, etc. Some of that can be recovered from and the
google cache, but we should act fast. Contact the custodian of the
corresponding project if you’ll help migrate content.

The best solution is to land that documentation into the repo’s github
pages branch – that makes it live within the repo and doesn’t require
transmutation out of HTML. I made a skeleton gh-pages for each repo in
whymirror’s branch, including CSS and a template index.html borrowed
from @mojombo. (You’ll have to use some fancypants git command to add
the gh-pages branch: see the documentation at

Thanks for your help,

flip ([email protected], mrflip (Philip (flip) Kromer) · GitHub) and Seth
Rasmussen (@greatseth, greatseth (Seth Thomas Rasmussen) · GitHub) for
whymirror (A mirror of _why's executable poetry) · GitHub

I sent you a message on GitHub, but just in case…

I’d like to help out with Hackety Hack. I had thinking about doing so
all of this, and now that _why is gone, it obviously needs help more
ever, so if nobody’s laid claim to it, I’d like to. And if they have,
like to help.

It is exciting to see people step up and take care of things.