50 lines of Bash to snap a Wordle fan out of his shell • The Register

We are delighted to see that a version of the pun the New York Times purchased for seven figures can now be played via a 50 line bash script.

GitHub user “huytd” uploaded the code initially as “less than 50 lines of Bash”, although once others got stuck in the size of the script they amounted to a magical half century. By our calculations, that equates to about $20,000 per line, assuming the seven-figure sum is about $1 million.

Of course, those 50 lines don’t include all the gubbins needed to render things on a browser or the hooks to post a small enough message on social media so your friends can see how smart you are. However, the required colors are present and correct, as is the frustration factor as attempts pile up without success.

Fortunately, a well-thought-out command-line parameter (unlimit) will increase the six-trial limit to a bit more.

We took the script for a spin on a tame Linux box (in this case running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS) and can confirm that after a quick chmod make things executable, tap into ./wordle.sh we have found our solution.

For the uninitiated, Wordle presents the player with a daily puzzle in which a five-letter word must be guessed with clues regarding the correct letters in the correct (or incorrect) places. The game keeps track of its score, and fans can tweet their results to anyone who hasn’t figured out how to disable “wordle” on their social media yet.

the New York Times bought the game from its inventor, Josh Wardle, and plans are underway to transfer it to the NYT site, although Wardle insisted he would continue to be free to play.

Aside from the Bash script, the game’s success spawned numerous alternate versions and clones, some lacking the ad-free purity of the original. We’ll also throw a low-key veil over the likes of Sweardle, a four-letter guessing game that’s as mouthwatering as you’d expect.

Protecting Wordle from the onslaught of the clones could present both a short-term and long-term challenge. Nick Allan, Legal Director and Head of Interactive Entertainment at law firm Lewis Silkin, said: “The UK intellectual property system is currently not very well equipped to protect studios from clone games.

“From a practical perspective, enforcing intellectual property rights in a context of mobile games, particularly the hyper-casual genre, can also be difficult due to their faster development times, sometimes shorter retention and cross-border issues associated with platforms, studios and users around the world.

“Legislators in the UK and other legal systems could consider copyright reform more generally to make it more suited to the era of the metaverse and the iPhone rather than telex and teletext .”

In the meantime, we will continue to get our Wordle fix through Bash and take advantage of the educational opportunities provided by source code sharing.

And if we really fancy a text challenge, maybe we’ll fire up Vim. ®

About Jon Moses

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