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What’s Hot on GitHub – August 2008

By Zach Inglis / August 25, 2008

Github is a great resource for finding new projects within the Ruby community. It has become an extremely popular place for Ruby and Rails developers to congregate lately, so I wanted to list some of the new projects, and some of the updated ones, that I have found interesting and that are too small for their own blog post. Let us know if you like this as we might turn it into a regular series on Ruby Inside!

This month's picks:

  • Uppercut - A simple DSL for creating Jabber agents within Ruby. Seems quite young but full of potential.
  • AintABlog - Open-source tumblog application. Imagine your own tumblr account, but really customizable.
  • factory_girl_on_rails - If you use factory_girl (like I do) then this will provide you with automatic inclusion of test/factories/* and also new generators for creating factories.
  • object_daddy - A nice alternative to factory_girl. It helps you kill rails fixtures, keep your code DRY and reduce the complexity of your tests.
  • Chris Wanstrath's Ruby Hoedown Keynote - An unusual entry for Github, but as Chris runs GitHub, this makes sense. It's a transcript of Chris's great keynote presentation at the recent Ruby Hoedown conference.
  • Backchat - a one-file Merb application that allows you to quickly add commenting (think disqus) functionality on to any site.
  • HomeMarks - a Rails application that provides "start page" type functionality. A great example of Rails code using unobtrusive JavaScript. Very slick.
  • Inline File Editing - Not a project, but a new Github feature. You can now edit files in your repositories within the browser and Github deals with the housekeeping. Perfect for the most minor tweaks.
  • Adhearsion - A popular VoIP framework (a bit like a "Rails for telephony") that has just migrated over to using GitHub.


  1. SoftMind says:


    Very Nice blog. This should be a regular feature. My +1 for this.

    I would make little more suggestions on this. It would be nice if a project is classified accordingly in the blog. Its note very easy for a beginner to know, whether the project is for Intermediate, beginner or Advanced.

    It would be nice if the project is given a name besides it as (1) Beginner Project (2) Intermediate Project (3) Advanced project.

    I also see, many projects starting for fun on GitHub and nothing actually happens on those projects for months. Those projects should be also mentioned in a single line as Dead Projects. This would stop misguiding many students and newbie developers.

    Thanks for starting such thing on RubyInside.


  2. Josh Nichols says:

    factory_girl_on_rails actually only includes test/factories/*, mostly because I use Shoulda. It should be easy enough to add spec/factories to the list as well.

  3. James Adam says:

    Backchat's really about adding commenting, rather than 'chat' - essentially a mini 'disqus' - but where you need to keep the comments internal. Anyway - thanks for the mention!

  4. Zach Inglis says:

    SoftMind: I shall think of something that I can do to suggest what level of difficulty it is. I do not like the idea of calling a project dead. Github means that people can just pick up projects.

    Josh and James: I have updated the post to reflect your individual suggestions.

  5. Peter Cooper says:

    BTW, if anyone wants to make suggestions for us to look at, please do.

  6. taelor says:

    If you want some real chat functionality, look up the Juggernaut plugin and my example on Github,

  7. Alistair Holt says:

    +1 for making this a regular series.

  8. Matt Sears says:

    Very good post! As more and more projects are posted to GitHub, it can be easy for a project to go unnoticed. It would be great to see this as a regular series on Ruby Inside.

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