I finally wrote my first Ruby gem and it’s called HNsearch. All it does is allows me to search for users and items on Hacker News from my terminal. It was a great experience for me to write a gem of my own and if you like to work with Ruby, then you should write one too.
What all did I use?
- Nestful is a simple gem that allows one to make requests. I used it to communicate to the hnsearch API.
- Thor is a powerful gem that helped me write the command line interface.
- JSON does what it is supposed to do. It parses the generated hash to a JSON object which was easy to fiddle with.
How did I do it?
It wasn’t a lot of effort to write a small gem of this sort. I started with some starting queries on the Internet like writing your first ruby gem and how to write your first ruby gem. I found some great posts on the same -
Since, I was trying to write a command-line application, the third link was the most useful for me. I quickly set up a Bundler project using
bundle gem HNsearch and it created my starting directory structure.
% tree . |-- .gitignore |-- Gemfile |-- HNsearch.gemspec |-- lib | |-- HNsearch | | `-- version.rb | `-- HNsearch.rb |-- Rakefile `-- README.md
As I needed a gem that I could run directly from the terminal, I created a directory
bin and created a file called
HNsearch inside it. The file just starts the
CLI from my module
Writing a gem of your own is a satisfying experience and you get to learn a lot from it. And another advantage that comes along with it is the part where others can download your gem and use it.