Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ruby & Rails Tools: Pry, Guard, Spork, RubyFiddle, Null Object Pattern

Here are some Ruby and Rails things that have caught my attention.  In the interest of sharing and documentation, in no particular order:

Pry is a powerful alternative to the standard IRB shell for Ruby.  I learned about it at CodeSchool, on one of the Code-TV videos.  Pry provides source code and documentation browsing, the ability to live edit defined methods, syntax highlighting, command shell integration and other things of goodness.

Also recommended is the CodeSchool Code-TV episode on Guard and Spork, which look like a great 1-2 punch for driving TDD.

From a recent Ruby MeetUp at the Punchbowl  place in Framingham (thanks for the hospitality, pizza and beer!), I picked up these two tidbits:

RubyFiddle is a website that lets you try out Ruby code in the browser and save snippets as gists.  It lines up nicely with my personal philosophy that to be a great ROR engineer, one needs to be a great Ruby engineer. RubyFiddle has easily selectable key bindings for none, vim or emacs, which I find rather considerate and helpful.

I also learned about the Null Object Pattern, which has some compelling features and deserves to be in the toolbox of the enlightened engineer.

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