Hack hack hack...

An open journal-- some of it written for you, but most of it is for me.

Exploring Ruby Gems

Tips pulled from: RailsCast - Exploring Ruby Gems and Finding Valuable Gems with Nathan Bibler from Envy Labs.

Ruby toolbox

  • Look at popularity

Look at github repo directly

  • number of commits
  • checkout issue tracker
    • number of open issues vs. closed issues

Search for the product on Rubygems.org

  • look for stable release
  • look at runtime dependencies–> there are lots of moving parts breaks often happen because of rails dependencies
  • use the gem file to control the version


  • look at the project wiki
  • should also look at the rdocs

Source Code

  • can take a look at source code on github
  • can really dig in if you clone
  • use the cloc app lib to judge the number of lines of ruby code (brew install cloc if I don’t have it)
  • Look under the lib dir with the file that matches the gem name– e.g. devise.rb– usually provides a structure of the app and its dependencies
  • Next stop, a railtie file or rails.rb

Bibler Believes

  • documentation is the first thing to consider: reflects if they care about me as a user