The New Gem Generator (newgem) was exciting, moderately revolutionary, and definitely helpful two years ago when I created it. Of late it seems to attract a chunk of criticism:
- making a new gem, but newgem seems broken… hoe hoe
- NewGem has the “hoe” virus. Much prefer Mr. Bones.
- the newgem site is begging for someone to put the word fuck on its front page
- Almost two days fighting with newgem, but today i won! The secret is hoe 1.7.0 and rubygem 1.2.0.
- unfortunately for the one project I went with newgem, will give Mr. Bones a try on the next gem I throw out there.
- sow or newgem, neither, Mr. Bones
- egads, the website newgem sets up for you looks awful
- newgem seems to be failed to generate package if AUTHOR is an array of authors.
On the positive side of the spectrum is the following list:
- newgem? really? you rock drnic!
Comparatively, the two lists are awfully different in length. And not in a good way. No, not at all.
I know about these criticisms and platitude(s) because they appear publicly on newgem’s website within a live Twitter search of ‘newgem’. So that the twitter messages on the project’s own homepage are more positive, it was time for a new direction. A new beginning. It was time for a change.
So I fixed it. All of it. As of release 1.0.3 it is perfect .
To help you realise how wonderful newgem now is, I shall use the time-proven medium for proving awesomeness: a list. The bullet points are for free.
- newgem now finally gone 1.0.0. It made it all the way to 0.29.0, but I think 1.0.0 was needed to transfer the message of a new beginning. This is the Obama of Gem Generators.
- Generated gems are 50% smaller. No more config/hoe.rb. No more website folder (by default). No more tasks folder. No more license file. No more version.rb file.
- Very little config required before releasing your gem. Just a few fields in the
- You can use rspec or test/unit for unit testing (option:
- You can use cucumber for functional testing (option:
-i cucumberor run
- Generated gems are future-proofed. They will automatically benefit from future newgem releases.
- Executable apps within gems now have a
lib/appname/cli.rbfile for the code base, and a lightweight
-b appnameor run
script/generate executable appname)
- Your README file can be called
README.rdocso it appears nicely formatted on github. No more hoe warning messages about “README.txt is missing” (see feature)
- GitHub RubyGem support.
rake gemspecgenerates a clean
my_project.gemspecfile that will work with GitHub
- RubyForge support. As before,
rake release VERSION=X.Y.Zreleases your project to RubyForge (see ‘preparing for releases to rubyforge’ help page)
- newgem’s website is a different colour. Its a nice peppermint green colour. The default website template is now this theme too.
- You can raise bugs or suggest improvements via Lighthouse tracker
sudo gem install newgem
To create your RubyGem scaffold:
newgem mygem newgem mygem -b myapp # create a CLI executable newgem mygem -T rspec -i cucumber # use rspec and cucumber for gem tests newgem mygem -w # create a simple website newgem -h # get help
Now your code goes in
lib folder, and your tests go in
features as appropriate.
There are a bunch of rails-esque generators (like
migration) that you can use to help your development:
script/generate executable myapp # create your own command-line interface (CLI) script/generate extconf mylib # starting point for C-extensions, plus TDD framework script/generate component_generator mygenerator scope # create your own generators for Rails, Merb, RubyGems script/generate application_generator myapp # create a CLI that is a generator for something script/generate -h # get help
Bugs and suggestions
You can raise bugs or suggest improvements via Lighthouse tracker
Thanks goes to… Cucumber
Aside from several days of my time refactoring it, reducing it, and doubling the amount of awesomeness within it, all its wondefulness is thanks to Cucumber.
Cucumber is the successor to Rspec Story Runner. I never found time to play with Story Runner, but Cucumber is blowing my mind with awesomeness. My attention-span is short so I may be forgetting something but I think Cucumber could be the most important piece of software released in 2008 for Ruby-based developers.
Cucumber gave me a framework to specify newgem’s expected behaviour; its features. First I wrote feature descriptions for known, expected behaviour. Then I refactored the crap out of newgem until it was in tip-top shape.
There are over 90 feature steps defining newgem’s current features. To run them:
gem unpack newgem cd newgem-* sudo gem install cucumber cucumber features
And watch the awesomeness of Cucumber unfold before your eyes. What you are seeing isn’t just newgem’s generators being executed, but also the generated code is being executed, rake tasks executed, and generated test files tested.
I can now setup continuous integration for newgem. I have a framework to know that newgem, or any other RubyGem, is doing what it should do.
UPDATE: I want to thank David Chelimsky for our time hanging out in Brazil during RailsSummit. I saw him using Cucumber, and talking about it on stage and then help helped me whilst I integrated it into newgem as a generator and then using it internally itself. For a day and a half we hung out in the hotel foyer. He’s so wonderful.
Cucumber makes me so happy.
Use newgem. Write gems.
Use mrbones. Write gems.
Use sow. Write gems.
And write cucumber feature descriptions first. Then unit tests. Then code. Then release. Then profit.
 All claims of perfection are for the express purpose of making you try the product enough to use it, share it with your friends, and wrap it up and give it as a gift to family on Xmas day. Gift boxes are available upon request.
- First look at rails 3.0.pre This article is out of date in some aspects....
- Cucumber: building a better World (object) How to write helper libraries for your Cucumber step definitions...
- Testing outbound emails with Cucumber My testimonial for Cucumber still stands even in 2009....
- Migrating project websites to github pages with sake tasks, new websites with jekyll_generator Its almost Christmas time and that means presents. It...
- My RubyGems development tools and workflow The Open Source Developers Conference (osdc) is a nifty...