Git/Github Roundup: Ruby Books, Gems, Gitjour
- Rails 2.1 book: The free Rails 2.1 book was written in Portuguese, and now the translation of the book is also hosted on Github.
- Ramaze book: a book on the Ramaze web framework
- Sinatra book: Tutorial + Cookbook for the Sinatra web framework
- Life On The Edge With Merb, DataMapper & RSpec : Merb, DataMapper and more.
One of Github's features is the Ruby Gems support, which is a simple as providing a .gemspec file (and checking the "Ruby Gem" box in the Github configuration). With this, Github automatically builds the Gem when the .gemspec file is pushed. The Gem is then available by using the package source "http://gems.github.com". Since one of Github's distinguishing features is easy forking of projects, this approach could cause name clashes if different versions published a Gem. The solution to this is that the Gem name is prefixed with the username.
One benefit of git is that it pulls the full repository from a server instead of just a snapshot of the current HEAD. The repository contains the full history of the file, ie. all of the commits and versions of the past. Recently, Evan Phoenix, Chad Fowler, and Rich Kilmer used this to build gitjour, a tool that makes it easier to share git repositories on local networks. The "jour" part of the name refers to the Bonjour, Apple's name for their implementation of the Zeroconf protocol. The basic idea behind these technologies is to use multicast in local networks to advertise and consume services. As the name Zeroconf implies, it allows to add these services without having to manually find them or the host and port that offers them.
The best source to get started is Dr. Nic's tutorial to gitjour and related tools. As the article shows, with gitjour, offering a git repository is as simple as calling
gitjour servein the repository directory. On the other side, a
gitjour listlists the repositories that are available on the network and
gitjour clone fooclones the repository named 'foo'. For detailed installation information and more see Dr. Nic's article.
Working with Ruby and Bonjour seems to be popular, as Dr. Nic's article continues showing further tools based on the same idea, like pastejour which allows to quickly share a snippet of code or gemjour for sharing gems, and many more. The projects use the dnssd Ruby gem.