Ruby Weekly is a weekly newsletter covering the latest Ruby and Rails news.

By Peter Cooper / April 6, 2011

Today there are *drumroll* 18 new jobs to share from the Ruby Jobs board from companies like Expedia, Brightbox (the British Rails hosting guys) and LivingSocial.

To promote a job, see the Post A Job page. A bonus is your ad gets into the 4500 subscriber Ruby Weekly for free. In terms of overall reach to Rubyists, nothing beats what we can offer with Ruby Inside, Ruby Flow, Rails Inside and Ruby Weekly.

So, there are some beauties in here.. they spanning the USA and UK and one even includes a $10K signup bonus:

Rails Software Engineer with MS stack experience – Bellevue, Washington

Expedia, Inc (you know, the travel site) is looking for a Software Development Engineer with a minimum of 2 years’ Web development experience with a proven ability to design and deploy Rails based apps in a corporate environment. Read More

By Peter Cooper / March 29, 2011

As an outspoken and opinionated guy, David Heinemeier Hansson (a.k.a. DHH), creator of Rails, is no stranger to a little bit of controversy. He frequently sets off interesting debates on Twitter from his @dhh account. The latest is, perhaps, the most involved yet and has been rattling on for a couple of hours today.

So what’s the beef? RSpec and Cucumber versus.. Test::Unit. It’s no secret that DHH is a happy Test::Unit (and fixtures) user. Last October he tweeted:

But here’s what kicked off today’s debate:

Naturally, this brought a plethora of heckles, support, snark, and questions from DHH’s followers, including:

More specifically, though, DHH noted that this gist comparing some Test::Unit tests to RSpec triggered his statements. Read More

By Joe Fiorini / March 29, 2011

Watchr is a development tool that monitors a directory tree and triggers a user defined action (in Ruby) whenever an observed file is modified. Its most typical use is continuous testing, and as such it is a more flexible alternative to autotest. It is maintained by Martin Aumont and available on GitHub.

Watchr works by allowing you to specify the path to the file or files you want to monitor. When the file is changed it executes whatever block of Ruby code you give it. As the README states its most common use case is as a replacement for autotest. After using Watchr for a couple years now, I have learned that it’s much more than that. Read More

By Xavier Shay / March 29, 2011

Monkey-patching is so 2010. We’re in the future, and with Github and Bundler there is now rarely a need to monkey-patch Ruby code in your applications.

Monkey-patching is the dangerous-yet-frequently-useful technique of re-opening existing classes to change or add to their behavior. For example, if I have always felt that Array should implement the sum method, I can add it in my codebase:

That is a monkey-patch. Of course, when I require activesupport it also adds a sum method to Array though its version has an arity of one and takes a block. This conflict can cause hard to track down errors and is why monkey-patching is to be used with caution. Read More

By Peter Cooper / March 25, 2011

I started Ruby Inside in May 2006 as a promotional vehicle for my then in-progress book, Beginning Ruby. It eventually went on to be published by Apress and is now on its second edition having sold quite a few copies.

It’s typical to choose someone who’s better known than you in the field to write a foreword for you to lend some legitimacy to your book and I only had one choice: Why The Lucky Stiff. As with many Rubyists, Why was a hero of mine and I wanted to go with the unusual route of an illustrated foreword. Surprisingly, Why readily accepted the challenge. Read More

By Peter Cooper / March 24, 2011

apple-ruby-3.jpgMacRuby’s lead developer and Apple employee Laurent Sansonetti has today released MacRuby 0.10 (yep, that’s ten), the latest version of the Mac OS X-focused Ruby implementation. 0.10 is the latest stepping stone on the way to a forthcoming 1.0 release.

Getting MacRuby

You can grab MacRuby 0.10 from the downloads page or directly at Beware, though, that the binary installer download will only work on 64 bit Intel-powered machines running OS X 10.6 or higher.

New Features, New Possibilities

0.10 is not a major release but a few things stand out in the release notes for 0.10 amongst all the usual performance tweaks and bug fixes:

  • Support for the new MacBook Pro hardware (SandyBridge processors).
  • Read More

By Peter Cooper / March 15, 2011

It’s a newsflash! JRuby 1.6.0 has been released today. Congratulations to the JRuby team. 1.6 is a significant and much awaited release and comes after a 9 month push of over 2500 commits.

Hit up the official release post for the full run-through but here are some of the highlights of the release:

  • Windows has been added to the JRuby team’s continuous integration system meaning that Windows support is only going to get better
  • Ruby 1.9.2 language and API support (with the exception of Encoding::Converter and ripper)
  • Built in profiler
  • General performance improvements
  • Experimental support for C extensions (with provisos)
  • RSpec is no longer included (worth mentioning in case it catches you out..)

You can download binary and source releases direct from if you want to get up to date or update RVM with rvm get head and rvm reload before running rvm install jruby-1.6.0 :-)

Fingers crossed for some great JRuby tutorials and guides coming along in the next couple of months. Read More

By Peter Cooper / March 14, 2011

The RSpec Book ( by David Chelimsky (plus a cadre of BDD superstars) is a recent release from The Pragmatic Programmers and a handy addition to any TDD-mad or RSpec-using developer’s bookshelf. You can buy a copy from,, or direct from the publisher (more expensive but a PDF version is available).

What is The RSpec Book?

The RSpec Book is a 400 page book by David Chelimsky (RSpec‘s primary maintainer), Dave Astels, Zach Dennis, Aslak Helles√ły (of Cucumber fame), Bryan Helmkamp and Dan North. Its aim is to teach you all about RSpec (RSpec 2.0 – specifically) and BDD (Behavior Driven Development) from the ground up and it promises to “help you write better code, write better tests, and delver better software to your users.”

Robert C. Read More

By Peter Cooper / February 28, 2011

It’s been a killer month for new Ruby and Rails jobs over at the Ruby Inside Jobs board so I’m going to cut the filler to a minimum today.. though if you want to learn more about posting one of your own, check our Post A Job page. The current bonus is you’ll get your job ad into the 4000+ subscriber-strong Ruby Weekly for free!

There are a couple of really appealing jobs in here (particularly the first one) and they span the US with a few in the United Kingdom and one in Australia for good measure:

Innovation Developer – San Francisco, California, inc. Read More

By Peter Cooper / February 27, 2011

Eloquent Ruby ( – print & Kindle) by Russ Olsen is the first Ruby book I’ve read in its entirety within 24 hours; it’s that good. That may be all you need to know before you buy a copy at, or read it on Safari (if you have an account). If you want to learn more though, keep reading.

What Is “Eloquent Ruby”?

Eloquent Ruby is a book published by Addison Wesley and written by Russ Olsen (who also wrote Design Patterns in Ruby a few years ago). It clocks in at around 400 pages and has 31 chapters clocking in at around a punchy 10 pages each. Read More

By Peter Cooper / February 24, 2011

Yes, I’m sad enough to have had this in my calendar for some time but.. it’s Ruby’s 18th “birthday” today! Happy Birthday Ruby! While this means it can drink, vote, and otherwise join its slightly older friends Perl (24) and Python (21) in the nightclubs of Europe, I was surprised to learn that coming of age in Japan is at 20 years old.

From Wikipedia’s Ruby entry:

If you’re interested in learning more, this interview with Matz back in 2001 will give you more history and background to the creation of Ruby.

While Matz has said that February 24, 1993 is Ruby’s “birthday” (back when I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston was topping the charts), the first public release wasn’t until December 21, 1995 when Ruby 0.95 was released and the first mailing list established. Read More

By Peter Cooper / February 20, 2011

Rails 3 is great. RSpec 2 is great. And Ruby 1.9.2 is really great. Getting them all running together and quickly, however, isn’t entirely straightforward. In this post I demonstrate how to get everything ticking over along with automatically running, super-snappy test runs.

The ultimate outcome is using Ruby 1.9.2 (though much of this is relevant to 1.8 still) to create a Rails 3 app, hook up RSpec 2, and be able to run specs quickly. The first two parts are easy(ish) but the “quickly” part requires some tinkering. Grab a coffee and carry on..

Create a new Rails 3 app

Got Rails 3 installed? Read More

By Peter Cooper / February 19, 2011

It’s been a dies horribilis for MRI Ruby today with two new security vulnerabilities forcing the release of 3 new recommended production versions of the de facto official Ruby interpreter. The first, a vulnerability in FileUtils.remove_entry_secure affects both 1.8 and 1.9 branches, while the second, a $SAFE mode vulnerability, affects only 1.8.

The FileUtils Vulnerability (1.8 and 1.9)

Urabe Shyouhei of the Ruby core team has announced that FileUtils is vulnerable to symlink race attacks and he’s not talking about hate crimes. Ruby versions including and prior to Ruby 1.8.6p420, Ruby 1.8.7p330, Ruby 1.9.1p430 and Ruby 1.9.2p136 are affected so you’re almost guaranteed to be affected. Read More

By Peter Cooper / February 3, 2011

It’s time for us to thank the companies who help to keep Ruby Inside going by kindly sponsoring our work. So.. thank you! (And thank you for reading too, naturally.)

Red Dirt Ruby Conference – April 21-22, 2011 (Oklahoma City)

The Red Dirt Ruby Conference is a Ruby conference taking place in Oklahoma City this April. It’s shaping up to be a great event with keynotes from Aaron Patterson (Nokogiri) and Dr Nic Williams (Engine Yard). Expect sunny weather with temperatures in the low 70s..

Spreadable – Viral Marketing Tools for your Apps

Spreadable is a powerful ‘tell a friend’ referral tool you can easily plug into your site. Read More

By Peter Cooper / February 1, 2011

rubygems.pngRyan Davis has announced the release of RubyGems 1.5.0. It comes just a month after the release of 1.4 which, notoriously, didn’t work with Ruby 1.9.2. These problems have now all been ironed out and Ruby 1.8 and 1.9 users alike can safely upgrade (fingers crossed).

RubyGems is the popular (and official – as of Ruby 1.9) Ruby package manager with which most significant Ruby libraries and tools are distributed. The 1.5 release sees it pick up a few bug fixes and some enhancements, including:

  • Ruby 1.9 support
  • Post-build hooks that can cancel the gem install
  • Gem.find_files is now 40% faster (on Ruby 1.9)
  • Better errors for corrupt Gem files, including paths
  • A new UPGRADING documentation file to help with Ruby 1.9-related issues
  • gem update no longer erroneously tries to update RubyGems itself by default

To upgrade to RubyGems 1.5.0, run:

gem update –system

Alternatively, you can learn more in the new UPGRADING documentation, or if you don’t already have RubyGems for some reason, you can download it from Read More

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