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The Future of _why's Libraries such as Markaby and Hpricot

by Werner Schuster on Aug 25, 2009 |

Last weeks sudden and total disappearance of Ruby developer and artist _why has caused quite a stir in the Ruby community.

One question is who'll maintain _why's many contributions to the Ruby ecosystem. Libraries such as HTML parser HPricot, markup builder Markaby, web framework camping, and others are very popular.

Since _why managed to completely wipe out his online presence, including shutting down his GitHub repository, the future of these projects seemed in danger.

As it turns out, the Ruby community's recent fascination with distributed version control has paid off: Git repositories of _why's code have been located and has been made available on GitHub: http://github.com/whymirror.

Simultaneously, an effort to find new maintainers for _why' s projects has started on the whymirror project's GitHub pages. At this moment, some of the main projects have found maintainers.

New projects might consider other libraries that achive the same functionality but have a more active community.
Hpricot recently gained some competition in Nokogiri for accessing XML, XPath, finding elements using CSS selectors and more. Nokogiri is also compatible with JRuby, although it does require loading native code (it uses ruby-ffi).

Markaby is _why's take on a builder-style library for creating markup like HTML. Ryan Davis recently looked at similar libraries such as tagz, haml, builder, and others.

Do you use _why's libraries such as Ruby Shoes? Are you going to continue using them - if not, which alternatives are you considering?

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