Transcode from common web based formats into plain old Ruby
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Transcode between common web formats and Ruby.

Scenario (Web->Ruby)

Say you'd pulled an API based resource using rest-client

  • All that you wanted was a ruby object.
  • You don't want to know anything about the format that the API serves.
  • You're pretty sure its something pretty common.

Example (Web->Ruby)

$ irb -rubygems

>> require 'restclient'
>> require 'transcoder'

>> rc = RestClient.get('')

>> Transcoder.for(rc.headers[:content_type]).parse(rc.to_s)

What you'll get back is a Ruby object. Lovley.

Scenario (Ruby→Web)

You have a Ruby array or a hash and you want to pack it up and post it off somewhere else

  • You have a target (content|mime)-type in mind


  • You have a named format eg: "json"

Example (Ruby→Web)

$ irb -rubygems

>> require 'transcoder'

>> Transcoder.for(:xml).generate({:title => "Hamlyn's Guide to Sauces and Saucemaking"})
=> "<?xml version=\"1.0\"?>\n<items>\n  <item>\n    <title>Hamlyn's Guide to Sauces and Saucemaking</title>\n  </item>\n</items>\n"

>> Transcoder.for(:yaml).generate({:title => "Hamlyn's Guide to Sauces and Saucemaking"})
=> "--- \n:title: Hamlyn's Guide to Sauces and Saucemaking\n"

Supported formats

  • Json
  • XML
  • RSS / Atom
  • Yaml


gem install transcoder

Notes about RSS / Atom parsing and generation

  • Transcoder will return a SimpleRSS object rather than a straight up Ruby hash, this shouldn't be (much) of a reason for concern.

    This simply means that you'll want to call the properties of the returned object with method calls rather than hash access.

  • There is no 'generate' method for feeds. This is simply because they require much more information than a raw feed.

Future thoughts

  • Add something to cast attributes to a native ruby object, eg - if its key is created_at, try to date parse it.
  • Generator methods to unpack and generate object trees (XML generator)

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.


Copyright (c) 2010 Ben Schwarz. See LICENSE for details.