Episode 17

Open sourcing a Ruby gem with Brittany Martin


June 26th, 2020

54 mins 49 secs

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode

The Ruby Blend - Episode 17

Welcome to The Ruby Blend! On today's episode, we have special guest,
Brittany Martin, who is Lead Web Developer for the Pittsburgh Cultural
Trust, where she is part of a team that develops the non-profits
ticketing and festival web application and is also the host of the Ruby
on Rails Podcast on the 5 by 5 Network. Brittany is here to tell us all
about what she does, gem wrappers, and she is seeking some counsel from
the guys today on various things. We talk about how important Readme's
are, useful tools for documentations, a project from Evil Martians, a
gem called Combustion, and RSpec API documentation is discussed. We end
with Brittany telling us all about her passion for being in the Roller
derby. Download this episode now!

Sponsored by:



Show Notes:

[00:01:51] We start here by Brittany telling us all about gem wrappers
and what she's working on. She asks the guys if it makes sense to create
an almost fake Rails app that she ships along with the certificate or
ship beside it that shows a user how to use it? Andrew answers and
mentions reading a lot of code from Vladimir, who goes by palkan, and
Brittany mentions Piotr Murach, who wrote a great article about writing
gem specs.

[00:07:14] Brittany asks the guys if they ship their VCR cassette
tapes with their code and do they find it useful or do they think that
VCR cassette tapes should be ephemeral?

[00:13:25] Nate tell us how he markets his open source repositories
and when he has a new project that he is excited about, what kind of
steps he takes.

[00:15:13] Brittany asks the guys what does it feel like when you
publish a library and people start opening issues with it? Is it a weird
mix of joy and a little bit of panic or are you just excited overall?

[00:17:27] Ron asks Nate if he has any advice on how to build that
initial community and for getting those initial enthusiasts. Nate brings
up a video from Derek Sivers about "How to start a movement." Great
advice from Nate here and an awesome quote!

[00:20:17] Andrew talks about setting up a Rails App, how important
Readme's are, and he mentions a repo that he points to a lot called
Awesome Readme's." He also mentions documentations have to be good, and
he tells us resources to help with this, which is a project from Evil
Martians, Read the Docs, and GitBook.

[00:24:10] Brittany wants to know when do you outgrow your Readme and
are all the tools that you offered better than using GitHub Wiki?
Brittany mentions how she was stoked to get the Google Pay as the gem

[00:28:15] With the example Rails project that Brittany wants to ship
with the gem, she wonders if it should be part of the gem itself or
should it be a separate repository? Andrew and Nate help out with this.

[00:31:55] Andrew talks about if you're worried about hard to debug
tickets, he created a reproduction template on how to quickly and easily
reproduce your issue. Also, if you want a community, he suggests
creating a place for them. He mentions Jared White, maintainer of
Bridgetown, R.B. Andrew asks Brittany why did she decide to develop it
in private rather than putting it in as a work in progress as the
status, or the gem description, and if you try it then it's on you?

[00:38:26] Brittany tells us her empathy with Rails engines, and if
she's done a local path to a locally sourced engine as well.

[00:40:58] Andrews tells us about a Gem called "Combustion" that helps
with engine testing that palkan uses a lot.

[00:42:33] Andrew asks everyone when you write gems do you use yard?
Brittany mentions RSpec API documentation which she's used in past jobs
and is pretty amazing.

[00:46:10] Andrew talks about the tool "docsify" and an Evil Martians
blog post about it.

[00:46:56] Brittany talks about her passion of being in the Roller
Derby, under the name Norma Skates, after Norman Bates.

Links Mentioned:


Follow Us: