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Five Essentials For Your Ruby Toolbox : Page 4

These are the five must-have tools and libraries that any professional Ruby developer needs to have in his or her toolbox.

5. An RSS Feed Reader for Community Interaction
One of the interesting things about Ruby is its community. As a language that gained widespread popularity in the West in only the past few years, Ruby developers have taken advantage of new technologies like blogs to build the community and share their knowledge.

Most of the best Ruby developers have blogs and reading them can extend the knowledge of a novice Ruby developer substantially. Indeed, the strong, evangelical blogging community is one of the main reasons Rails has taken off in the past couple of years. So having a quick and easy way to keep up with several Ruby blogs is key. As nearly all blogs publish an RSS feed, an RSS application or access to an online RSS reader provides a lot of value for any Ruby developer.

The most popular online RSS reader is Google Reader, but client-side readers exist for all platforms. On Windows, a good, free RSS reader is SharpReader. On Mac OS X, NewsFire is a good one. A good place to find Ruby blogs worth reading regularly is Ruby Inside. Visit the site and subscribe to the blogs in the "Choice Blogs" sidebar.

Keeping up to date with Ruby blogs means you'll not only come across the best tutorials and Ruby posts as they're written, but you'll also begin to connect with the community and get a feel for how to extract value from it.

Peter Cooper is an independent Ruby developer and trainer who runs the popular Ruby-only blog, Ruby Inside. He is also the author of 'Beginning Ruby', published by Apress.
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