About Green Ruby

Green Ruby is a weekly newsletter that I’m publishing about ruby, rails, javascript and web development in general. I am preparing a website to make it more collective and here is the ‘about’ page, not yet published, but I was thinking it could be interesting to share it before the website is all ready.


The Newsletter began in june 2012 from the habit I had to send weekly newsletter in Codegreen for our team to know what is happening in our company,. That was purely a teamwork tool for general transparency. But with time passing I also included there some links to what I was finding around that would be of interest for my geek colleagues.

That CodeGreen Internal newsletter began to be cluttered with various links at the bottom of it. So I decided to separate that links gathering bunch in another newsletter. But then it could also be useful for my friends, out of the scope of our team.

Green Birth

At that time I had to test Mailchimp service for one of our projects, so because they offer a free package when volume is not too big, I thought I should just create that newsletter as a public freely available publication.

So in february 2013 I sent the first Green Ruby Newsletter to 3 subscribers. Well, mostly our team :) Then it became a weekly habit, so I got a domain name for it, and organically it’s growing slowly.

The redactor gear

Codegreen paid for my Newsblur account so I can follow a bunch of feeds. Google reader was my first tool but well, they are closing, and actually Newsblur is much better. It’s open source and the guy that makes it does a great job (too bad it’s in python and not in ruby).

I’m also loading a bunch of podcasts on my phone and after having tried a lot of podcast softwares I’m really happy with Podkicker, it’s just very convenient and it has all I need with the free version. So in my 40 minutes commuting to go to work, I just get the ears busy. I tried to use Gpodder but it’s not totally perfect and the support in podcast clients is not as good as it should be. So I don’t stick on it, maybe it will evolve and I will get back to it.

But I also get a lot of news by just wandering around on Geekli.st, on Coderbits, hacker news, and I subscribed to a bunch of various newsletters. I also watch teh new gems feeds from @rubygems-alt and I retweet stuff of interest on @cogtw account (those 2 are my alternate twitter identities).

Each week William (aka xenor) also sends me a list of links. But I definitely don’t use any facebook feeds. For some reason, this is a place I avoid the most I can.

What next ?

My ambition there is to keep it non-commercial, and change it to be more community driven. The preparation of the letter is eating a big part of my saturdays for the last 13 weeks and I don’t think I can keep up the same pace for long time.

The idea I have about the community driven thing is by engineering some automation on the news gathering (to replace newsblur), have a place where the news can be triaged by various people, a little bit like it is on Hacker News with a vote system. But the gathering won’t limit to blog posts and rss feeds, there would also be podcasts and video feeds. There is now a lot of possibilities in automation on feeds aggregation. I worked on a project that already does that feeds aggregation, named “the Blux”. And I expect to replicate parts of it for my Green Ruby Engine.

But also, as usual, this project is also an occasion to play with recent technologies or stuff I want to know more about, otherwise where is the fun ? So here comes Ember.js, on the top of Sinatra with mongoDB, and there will be much more on the road (thinking about trying Sponges too).

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