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Steps for Creating Gems in Ruby

by humza
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Creating gems is one of the best things to do on Ruby. Web and software developers love using Ruby for their projects due to its simplicity. It might not be as featured-packed compared to languages like Python and JavaScript. Still, it does have enough tools for web and software development (US) projects of introductory and moderate difficulty levels.

What are Gems, and Why Should We Create Them?

A gem is a software package in Ruby where you can distribute multiple libraries and applications in a single format. These bits of rails codes allow developers to add bits of functionality to their program without having to write the same code again.

But many inexperienced Ruby developers wonder why it is crucial to create gems when you can easily add a rails code in one of the modules and use it directly in a web or software development (US) project.

Well, you can use this method for distributing Ruby libraries and applications in a single format. However, if the code is more general instead of project-specific, our developers recommend converting it to a gem. By doing this, you’ll be able to reuse the rail code and share it with multiple software development (US) projects. This also prevents duplication and helps you keep your code lines clean.

Steps for Creating Your First Ruby Gem

Here are 5 steps you can use for creating gems in Ruby:

1.     Naming and Setting Up a Gem

First, you should come up with a name for your gem. Let’s say you’re creating a gem that reminds you to submit your college assignment on a specific date. Now, make sure the name you choose for your gem is unique. You can check the uniqueness of your gem’s name by looking through RubyGems.

We’ll be using Bundler for creating the gem. So, run the gem install bundler command to install the Bundler. Then, we’ll write the gem’s name to create a directory. The name I’ve come up with is assignment_reminder.

2.     Our Gemspec

Then, the Bundler will create an assignment_reminder.gemspec file for us, containing all the specifications of our gem. You should update the top section by filling in the developer’s name, email, summary, license, and homepage items. Once you navigate to lib/assignment_reminder, you’ll spot a file named version.rb. This file is automatically generated with the bundler gem. You can update the version of your gem when you expand the code or add more functionality to it.

3.     Writing the Code

Now, you’ll have to make your gem work. You’ll be writing your code in lib/assignment_reminder.rb. The Bundler will create a class for you where you can write your code and add various functionalities. For instance, for our assignment_reminder gem, we’ll write a code where we’ll send reminders to the user when the assignment deadline is less than five days away. Once you write your code in the class, it’s time to test it.

4.     Testing the Gem

There are multiple ways to test out gems. Our developers normally use IRB or RSpec tests for testing gems. Both methods are great, and you can choose any of these tests based on your preferences.

Here, we’ll discuss how to test a gem through IRB:

  • Run the gem build assignment_reminder.gemspec command in the terminal to build your gem. Your gem will be ready for installation once the terminal displays the success message.
  • Then, to install your gem, run the gem install ./assignment_reminder-version.number.gem command. After building and installing our gem, we can test its functionality.
  • Drop into IRB, and write the require ‘assignment_reminder’ command. This allows our IRB session to use the gem.
  • Lastly, you can try out your code and see if its functionality meets your expectations.

5.     Sending Your Gem to RubyGems

You can consider this step if you want to push your gem live. RubyGems is a great gem hosting service used by many Ruby developers. You can easily publish and install your gems. You can also check out available gems through its API. To publish your gems, you just have to create an account and follow the following steps:

  • Write the gem push assignment_reminder-0.1.1.gem command. You can change the name and version of your gem based on your input and code.
  • The terminal will ask you to enter your RubyGems credentials, including your email and password. After entering the correct credentials, you’ll successfully log in to your account and push your gem live.

Verdict

Ruby is a great language to learn if you’re a student developing a web application or software for your college project. It’s also great for professionals involved in moderately complex web or software development (US) projects. However, if you don’t know how to use Ruby correctly, we recommend opting for a software development company service instead.

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