An ingenuously creative book review told through the medium of javascript by Robin Sloan

26 July 2012
Reading Time
2 minute read

What I know about javascript wouldn’t fit on a pixel. In my small mind, programming is an abstract concept occupying the digital commons of an elite, highly trained, breed of humanoid whose hands are prosthetic illusions as they type meaninglessly on the keyboard, distracting us from the fact that their thoughts have a direct line to the ubiquitous Web lord.

I am wrong and I know this now. Using a wonderfully accessible, personal type-a-long film, Robin Sloan – a writer and media inventor – has conducted one of his excellent Summer Reading book reviews using the medium of a javascript console. As each command is entered into the programming field, the text of the review is revealed.

For someone like me (and I’ll sweepingly state, in a non-profound way, that I am not alone) this was a very exciting moment: I spoke to the computer god and it replied. Even the simplest of commands, with its instant reveal, was a very exciting moment.

Topping that is the content. Very appropriately this review was on a about the accessibility of programming knowledge. Sloan wanted to read something that explained what it “feels like” to program computers and with that he found Close to the Machine by Ellen Ullman. Killing two metaphorical birds, as readers we get to experience javascript in it’s simplest form and reveal a literary work that will go someway in educating us as to its meaning.

Just try it and see!

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About the Author

Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

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