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Eric Hodel discusses RubyGems and his involvement in the Ruby community

by Sam Aaron on Mar 27, 2008 |

InfoQ had the pleasure of chatting with with Eric Hodel about his longstanding involvement with the Ruby community, and on his recent role as the maintainer of RubyGems, the de facto packaging system for Ruby libraries and applications.

Watch the interview here (27 minutes).

Eric also talked about his local Ruby user group Seattle.rb

” The Seattle Ruby brigade was started about 5-5 ½ years ago as just myself, Ryan Davis and Pat Eyler were the primarily people who just go and hang out and then talk Ruby. Originally we would do a meeting every month and we would have a presentation format … and we gradually switched over to a hacking format where people just come to hack and they bring their laptop. So it’s primarily a self guiding thing now.”

Eric is a member of the Ruby Hit Squad, creators of the deployment automation tool Vlad the Deployer.

“The Ruby’s Hit Squad primary goal is to find complex software that we can’t otherwise refactor or break down or the authors are not open to the changes and simplifications we want to make and make those changes. So it’s not about being against any particular person, it’s about being against particular code.”

Eric discusses his involvement with and use of many Ruby projects such as RubyInline a tool created by Ryan Davis which allows C code to be embedded within Ruby code:

“If you want to go and write some Ruby code and C code together test first it makes it easy because it’s all on one file and every time the file gets updated it’ll go ahead and recompile and reload itself. So you can go ahead and just have autotest sitting there and working with tests first on your C code and your Ruby code at the same time, you don’t have to stop and rebuild that every time you change the C code a little bit.”

When asked what was next on his list of things he’d like to do, Eric mentioned the testing tool Heckle:

“One of the things that I’d like to finish up pretty soon is a new release of Heckle because there are still some outstanding issues with it that haven’t been fixed and there have been some changes to ParseTree that it uses.”

Watch the interview here (27 minutes). where Eric also discusses memcache-client, Sphincter, and SuperCaller.

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