Here is the source to a version of Festoon, as supplied by Dennis Ritchie.
I have the version of festoon, as enhanced by
Nils-Peter Nelson, and as Norman Wilson said, mainly
and originally done by Ron Hardin. When the
Usenet interchange referred to happened, I asked
Ron whether he wanted to release it, and the
> fine with me
> npn's version is at /home/rhh/coma/festoon/fest.c
> with pics and tbls
> i've lost the original
Incidentally, Hardin worked for Bell Labs, though
at the Columbus location also occupied by
Western Electric, and until fairly recently was
a consultant for our own and nearby groups.
The first Google pages for "hardin sloane"
yields a bunch of references to his joint
work with the well-known mathematician
N. J. A. Sloane.
Binary, but not source, was with research
8th edition, and may have escaped otherwise.
I'll make the source available to scholars if there's interest.
It even compiles on Plan 9 (with ape).
This was in response to a question on the TUHS list about the source
for festoon. Tim Shoopa had replied to the original request with
It's come up at least twice on alt.folklore.computers in the last decade,
but I've never seen a pointer to the actual source yet. e.g.
Norman Wilson then sent in a comment from Festoon's author, Ron Hardin:
Festoon was mine, chiefly written one Saturday with a tragically flawed
copy of Lester's _Introductory Transformational Grammar of English_
bought that morning on a $1 table at Woolworth on my knee.
The tragic flaw was that there are severe lexical constraints on language,
which is why there are so many made-up words in festoon, to avoid them.
The introduction of awful phrases came in reaction to writer's workbench
from Lorinda Cherry, which had a real mine of them; and phrases from my
boss, S D Hester, who was a wretched writer. People contributed on noticing
It was greatly helped by troff (``The _pay_ people to write this crap?'' is
a typical reaction. Apparently it was not out of the question for Western
Aaron Robbins found that the fest.c code needs a small change to compile
on Linux. Find his patch in the fest.diff file.