Ways to evaluate a gem

Experienced coders shared their thoughts about finding the perfect gem
21 June 2017   2625

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.

Ruby/RoR News Digest 2-8.11

Rails 6.0.1 release, active storage changes in Rails 6, persisted queries in GraphQL and many other interesting things
08 November 2019   201

Greetings! I hope your week went great! Here's new "gemmy" programming news digest.

Get familiar with programms, that write themself, how Ruby uses memory exactly, the hide cost of Ruby 2.7 dot-colon method reference usage and many more interesting things.

Guides

  • Persisted queries in GraphQL:Slim down Apollo requests to your Ruby application

Persisted queries are designed for reducing request size by only sending a query ID that is stored on the backend, which is then retrieved and executed; guide covers this topic fully.

  • Writing a program that writes itself

Tutorial about quines in Ruby

Articles

  • How Ruby Really Uses Memory: On the Web and Beyond

New articel by Schneems, totally must-read about the Ruby memory allocation algorithm and what it does when you add thread

  • The hidden cost of the Ruby 2.7 dot-colon method reference usage

Another fee you will be paying for not so "free" Ruby's syntax sugar

  • Rails 6 - Active Storage changes

Detailed look on the changes that was made to one of the main Ruby on Rails gems in version 6

  • Use GitHub Actions for Rails CI with Postgres

This guide gives you the look on the beta version of GitHub's Actions which gives you an opportunaity to run arbitrary workflows, including tests, after certain things happen within your git repository.

Updates

  • Prism

Allows you to build frontend web apps with Ruby and WebAssembly

  • Rails 6.0.1 released

Some bugs are fixed; get more details by clicking on the link above.

  • Tabulo

A terminal table generator for Ruby that may be used, for example, in a live coding session.

Video

  • Episode #214 - Plugging in AnyCable