March 20, 2009
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Random Word Of The Day

Random Word Of The Day

Matt Hanlon takes up the Word Of The Day dashboard item. But he didn’t want to hunt up a bunch of “interesting” words. Instead, he has Tinderbox ask the built-in dictionary for a random word.

Matt wants to do this with a perl one-liner. So avoid getting tangled up with escaped quotes, we're going to store that one-liner in a user attribute called "command".

command: perl -e 'open IN, "</usr/share/dict/words";rand($.) < 1 && ($n=$_) while <IN>;print $n'

In essence, this leafs through the dictionary while rolling lots of dice; when the dice come up snake-eyes, we stop and choose that word.

And our action becomes:



Want to do it in ruby?

command: ruby -e 'rand < 1.0/$. and line = $_ while gets; puts line.chomp if line' /usr/share/dict/words