Checkout Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of the series first!

In the early days of writing Ruby libraries there were many patterns, and it took time to discover problems with each, if any. By 2009 (well after the release of Ruby 1.8.7) it had become clear using the statement require "rubygems" from inside a rubygem library is problematic.

So we’ll rip it out of the os source!

require 'rubygems' if RUBY_VERSION < '1.9.0'

Interesting that it seems there was a reason to think Ruby 1.8.7 needed this hack, but an alternative solution to whatever this was working around must be to install a newer version of rubygems. The latest version of rubygems that can be installed on Ruby 1.8.7 does not need this hack.

Next we apply some best practices to the Rakefile. I use the following in most of my RubyGem projects:

# encoding: utf-8
# frozen_string_literal: true

# !/usr/bin/env rake

require 'bundler/gem_tasks'

  require 'rspec/core/rake_task'
rescue LoadError
  desc 'spec task stub'
  task :spec do
    warn 'rspec is disabled'
desc 'alias test task to spec'
task :test => :spec

  require 'rubocop/rake_task' do |task|
    task.options = ['-D'] # Display the name of the failing cops
rescue LoadError
  desc 'rubocop task stub'
  task :rubocop do
    warn 'RuboCop is disabled'

task default: %i[test rubocop]

But wait, this project doesn’t have RuboCop yet. Adding latest RuboCop for a project that still supports Ruby 1.8 or 1.9 is risky, if you calue your time. That’s one reason I created rubocop-lts with a set of Ruby 1.8 styles pre-defined. Drop it in the gemspec, and forget it until you drop some old Rubies.

  s.add_development_dependency('rubocop-lts'.freeze, ['~> 2.0']) # For Ruby 1.8.7 compat

Then create a .rubocop.yml:

  rubocop-lts: rubocop-lts1_8.yml

Then we can auto fix most things:

bundle exec rubocop -a

Then we can fix other things that were not auto-fixable, and put the rest into a “todo” config:

bundle exec rubocop --auto-gen-config

Then we add the todo config to the main config, so we end up with:

inherit_from: .rubocop_todo.yml

  rubocop-lts: rubocop-lts1_8.yml

Then we can run bundle exec rake:

$ bundle exec rake
Finished in 0.05178 seconds (files took 0.21842 seconds to load)
36 examples, 0 failures

Randomized with seed 46919

Running RuboCop...
Inspecting 10 files

10 files inspected, no offenses detected

Now we have a useful Rakefile and our code is much more modern, while remaining compatible with Ruby 1.8.7 syntax.

Check out the pull request and give it a thumbs up or a heart if you are feeling generous!

Stay tuned for further posts in this series!

Hero image (cropped) by Jon Tyson