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by Lin Jen-Shin (godfat)



Ruby-Interactive-ruBy -- Yet another interactive Ruby shell

Rib is based on the design of ripl and the work of ripl-rc, some of the features are also inspired by pry. The aim of Rib is to be fully featured and yet very easy to opt-out or opt-in other features. It shall be simple, lightweight and modular so that everyone could customize Rib.


  • Tested with MRI 1.8.7, 1.9.2 and Rubinius 1.2, JRuby 1.6
  • All gem dependencies are optional, but it's highly recommended to use Rib with bond for tab completion.


gem install rib



As an interactive shell

As IRB (reads ~/.config/rib/config.rb writes ~/.config/rib/history.rb)


As Rails console

rib rails

As Ramaze console

rib ramaze

As a console for whichever the app in the current path it should be (for now, it's either Rails or Ramaze)

rib auto

As a fully featured interactive Ruby shell (as ripl-rc)

rib all

As a fully featured app console (yes, some commands could be used together)

rib all auto # or `rib auto all`, the order doesn't really matter

You can customize Rib's behaviour by setting ~/.config/rib/config.rb (by default). Since it's merely a Ruby script which would be loaded into memory before launching Rib shell session, You can put any customization or monkey patch there. Personally, I use all plugins provided by Rib.


As you can see, putting require 'rib/all' into config file is exactly the same as running rib all without a config file. What rib all would do is merely require the file, and that file is also merely requiring all plugins. Suppose you only want to use the core plugins and color plugin, you'll put this into your config file:

require 'rib/core'
require 'rib/more/color'

You can also write your plugins there. Here's another example:

require 'rib/core'
Rib.config[:prompt] = '$ '

module RibPP
  include Rib::Plugin

  def format_result result
    require 'pp'
    result_prompt + result.pretty_inspect

So that we override the original behaviour to pretty_inspect the result. You can also build your own gem and then simply require it in your config file.

As a debugging/interacting tool

Rib could be used as a kind of debugging tool which you can set break point in the source program.

require 'rib/rc'     # This would load your ~/.config/rib/config.rb
require 'rib/anchor' # If you enabled this in config, then not needed.
Rib.anchor binding   # This would give you an interactive shell
                     # when your program has been executed here.

# But this might be called in a loop, you might only want to
# enter the shell under certain circumstance, then you'll need:

require 'rib/debug'
Rib.enable_anchor do
  # Only `Rib.anchor` called in the block would launch a shell

Rib.anchor binding # No effect (no-op) outside the block

Edit in place

As a shell framework

The essence is:

require 'rib'

All others are optional. The core plugins are lying in rib/core/*.rb, and more plugins are lying in rib/more/*.rb. There are also so-called zore plugins which are lying in rib/zore/*.rb, which are used as special Rib command, such as Rib.anchor and Rib.edit. You can simply get

  • All
  • App

Another one is local binding inside a method:

Ripl.anchor binding

Then you can look through local variables inside a method with an interactive environment. Anchor could be nested, too. You can anchor another object inside a Rib session. The number shown in prompt is the level of anchors, starting from 1.


Apache License 2.0

Copyright (c) 2010-2011, Lin Jen-Shin (godfat)

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.