A little category spring cleaning

1 Mar 2012

Goodbye CSS and JS

TL;DR: Twitter Bootstrap is more popular than Rails and therefore is not listed any more

You may have noticed that Twitter put out a rather popular (and awesome!) CSS framework. Turns out it got so popular that it was by far outscoring all Ruby projects on this site with it's 21k watchers and 5k forks (as of today). Having a CSS framework as the most popular project on a mostly Ruby-focused library catalog seemed somewhat irritating, so it had to leave.

Of course, there is a bit more to that, so bear with me for a minute: Developing web apps has changed quite a bit over the last couple of years, particularily with the advent of (even more) client side JS and frameworks like Ember and Backbone (and so many more) becoming increasingly more important for Ruby developers too, it is getting increasingly hard to draw the line between what's relevant from the Ruby developer's view.

Back in the day when Prototype was bundled with Rails and jQuery started to become what everybody was actually using it made sense to have a Javascript Frameworks category that listed those options, even if only to make Rails developers aware of the fact that there are other choices.

Nowadays we have an incredibly huge and ever-growing JS framework landscape, that each complement the other's functionality, and they surely don't all fit into a generic JS Framework category anymore. On the other hand, The Ruby Toolbox is about Ruby after all, so starting to categorize and try to list all those is out of scope for this site. So I decided to drop the Javascript Frameworks listing altogether.

What does that have to do with dropping Bootstrap? Well, the same thing applies there as well. There is a plethora of CSS Frameworks, all offering different things and aiming at a different target. Originally, the category started out with Blueprint CSS, which somewhat evolved from a Ruby context. But just as with JS frameworks, the landscape here is way too complex to adequately sum it up within a generic CSS Frameworks category within the Ruby Toolbox.

What will soon be available though is a category for Sprockets / Rails Asset Pipeline plugins, so bootstrap is due for a (proxied) comeback.

Testing frameworks

The general-purpose Testing frameworks category used to be quite a pile of mixed apples and oranges as well. Cucumber alongside RSpec alongside extensions to Test::Unit like Contest. Actually, these tools are quite often used alongside each other, and are not "competition". Therefore, I split the category into Unit Test Frameworks and Acceptance Test Frameworks to more accurately reflect the realities in most Ruby development environments.

In other news I've worked through about 200 of your project suggestions in the last 2 weeks, so there should still be enough on the site to explore :) There's still a lot of suggestions in the backlog though, so please be patient if yours haven't been added yet.

Cheers, Christoph

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