Martin Gladdish

Software 'n' stuff

Is Ruby Really Ready for Prime-time?

Coming from a Java development background, I am used to intuitively knowing where to look for third-party libraries and tools to handle the heavy lifting for me. I have just started playing with a ruby on rails front end for a hobby project and am discovering it is so much harder to put together an application without this intuitive support.

For instance, I am building a web application to act as a client to a REST-based service that I am also writing. I have protected that REST service with HTTP digest authentication, and so need to provide my credentials from the rails client.

Rest Client is a very neat API for dealing with restful services, and I had it working a treat before I added authentication to my service. Like all of the other clients that I could find, basic authentication is supported fine but digest authentication is not. That even appears to be the case in ruby’s own Net::HTTP implementation.

As an aside, I started out with FeedTools before discovering that its atom support didn’t extend as far as handling item contents whose type was application/xml.

Ah, if there was only something like Apache’s HttpClient for Ruby…