Appendix B. Ruby, NodeJS, (and the Shell) at GitHub

The founders of GitHub all had deep ties and contributions to the Ruby programming language, so we cover it more than other languages in this book.

In recent years, NodeJS (JavaScript for the server side) has grown in popularity, and JavaScript has always been an interesting language because it works on both the client side and server side. GitHub has offered several popular open source projects written in NodeJS.

For these reasons, this appendix gives a little more detail on using these two languages.

In addition, some fluency with the shell is beneficial. There are many GUI programs that hide the command line from you, but to truly dive deep into the GitHub API, it is worthwhile to use the command line inside a shell. These examples all work with bash (the Bourne Again Shell), but are careful not to use any advanced features of bash (so they should convert to other shells if you strongly favor another shell).

GitHub and Ruby

When the history of GitHub is documented, the Ruby language will take its place as a major character. Tom Preston Warner (one of the three founders of GitHub) built the initial libraries for using Git with Ruby, a library called Grit. You can host blogs on GitHub for free, and this tool called Jekyll is built using Ruby. Gollum, the technology that powers GitHub wikis, is built using Grit and runs on Ruby.

To understand GitHub, it is best to understand a little bit of Ruby. You can use many of the tools ...

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