Ways to evaluate a gem

Experienced coders shared their thoughts about finding the perfect gem
21 June 2017   2145

Sometimes every coder faces with hard-solving issues. One “little” problem can provide you with headache and sleepless nights, spent on forums and web, searching for a solution. When you face a problem or difficulty, try to “look around”. There is a big chance that someone had already found a solution and you don’t have to “invent the wheel” again.

Ruby

A dynamic, open source programming language with a focus on simplicity and productivity.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails (RoR) - a framework written in the Ruby programming language.

Luckily, Ruby and RoR has a strong, friendly and open community. There is large amount of ready-made gems, so, there is high probability to find the right one.

We’ve collected a list of advises from skilled developers, how to choose a right gem.

  1. Look through Readme file and try to understand what is written there. Joking aside, it’s really hard sometimes.
  2. Look at the number of stars and watches. Big and active community keeps project healthy. Large amount of users means that finding help will be much easier. Also, a collective mind is a great guide. But it is not smart to consider only this criterion.
  3. Date of last update shows how active the project is. But regular updates for simple code aren’t necessary, so, this criterion isn’t the main.
  4. Take a good look on project’s issues. Check, is it filled with bug reports or new add-ons, are there any active discussions, are they structured. Also, don't forget to check how many pull requests are closed.
  5. Look thru the forum posts and bug tickets of a specific gem do decide, are the maintainers act helpful? You have to decide, can you count on them if any big issues arise.
  6. Take a good look at the number dependencies. A “simple” gem can have a large number of dependencies. You should decide if you are able to put all of them into your project. Also, note that there's a risk of version conflict.
  7. Don' forget to look at official documentation. It is necessary for every serious project. Also, it has to be understandable and contain “real-life” examples.
  8. Check the code. Are you able to understand it? If something goes wrong, maybe you will have to rewrite some parts of it by yourself. And it's better for you to be able to do it.

GitHub to Launch Sponrship System

GitHub does not charge fees, and the first year will cover the costs of processing payments
24 May 2019   54

System called GitHub Sponsors is launched to provide financial support for open source projects. The new service provides a new form of participation in the development of projects - if the user does not have the opportunity to help in the development, he or she can join the projects of interest as a sponsor and help through funding specific developers, maintainers, designers, documentation authors, testers and other participants involved in the project.

Using the sponsorship system, any GitHub user can monthly transfer fixed amounts to open source developers who have registered with the service as members willing to receive financial support (the number of participants is limited at the time the service is tested). Sponsored members can define support levels and associated sponsor privileges, such as exceptional bug fixes. The possibility of organizing financing not only individual participants, but also the groups of developers involved in the work on the project is being considered.

Unlike other co-financing sites, GitHub does not charge fees, and the first year will cover the costs of processing payments. In the future, the introduction of fees for processing payments is not excluded. To support the service, a special fund called GitHub Sponsors Matching Fund has been created, which will deal with the distribution of financial flows.