Code Shopping in Rails


#1

Back in the horse-and-buggy days when I was cutting my OO eye teeth
on Smalltalk, we had a LOT of conversations about the biggest problem
dealing with a large and growing set of classes and methods in the
Smalltalk image. It became clear that most, if not all, successful
Smalltalk coders spent a lot of their time code-shopping, i.e.,
looking for a class or method that did something they needed to do.
It was bad enough when that “something” lived in the mongo image file
that accmpanied each Smalltalk install. If what you wanted wasn’t
even in the image but was “out there somewhere,” finding it could be
a real challenge.

I note with some pleasure that there has been an attempt to deal with
this problem at least partially in Ruby and Rails, especially with
the existence of rubyforge and what appears to be a standard and
organized way of publishing and installing gems. So my question is,
what are the best ways people have found to determine whether a
particular needed capability has already been created by someone and,
if so, how and where to get it?

(By way of example, I ran across acts_as_paranoid on this list a
while ago and was delighted both at the naming of the method and at
the fact that it exists as a gem. But let’s say I was looking for
some way to give myself better protection against inadvertent or ill-
advised deletion of stuff;; how would you have advised me to go find
this little…er…gem?)

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Dan S.
Technology Visionary - Technology Assessment - Documentation
“Looking at technology from every angle”
http://www.eclecticity.com


#2

On Jan 11, 2006, at 3:13 PM, Dan S. wrote:

the fact that it exists as a gem. But let’s say I was looking for
some way to give myself better protection against inadvertent or
ill-advised deletion of stuff;; how would you have advised me to go
find this little…er…gem?)

I agree. A Ruby/Rails version of Perl’s CPAN would be a terrific
asset. And yes, I think that rubyforge and gems are moving in that
direction. In the meantime…who knows…

Speaking of acts_as_paranoid, I seem to remember something on the
Rails podcast a while back about acts_as_paranoid. If memory serves
me, the author was not recommending it. But then again, that was
awhile ago, and it may have been cleaned up since then. Someone more
in the know can comment as to its current status.

-Derrick


#3

I have nearly the same problem and have been searching for different
ways to “get” existing well-written tools for my projects. So far I
found a nice resource using plugins through this Plugin Manager:
http://lesscode.org/2005/10/27/rails-simplest-plugin-manager/

A large note, its not exactly the easiest and most direct way(ie: a
browser with a search box), but at least it has a simple approach to
maintaining your plugins external and internal.

My two cents for the day, take care.

Dan S. wrote:

that it exists as a gem. But let’s say I was looking for some way to
“Looking at technology from every angle”
http://lists.rubyonrails.org/mailman/listinfo/rails

Adam B. removed_email_address@domain.invalid
Integrum Technologies, LLC
Phone: +1 602 792 1270
Mobile: +1 480 580 7091


#4

Alex…

Yeah, that works much of the time. It’s the New World equivalent to
opening your door and shouting down the hallway, “Hey! Anyone have a
method that does this?” I was looking for something a bit
less…er…disruptive?

:slight_smile:

Dan


#5

Dan S. wrote:

So my question is, what are the
best ways people have found to determine whether a particular needed
capability has already been created by someone and, if so, how and where
to get it?
Ask here :slight_smile: