A gem that explains the state of a GitHub repository.
Ruby HTML Shell
Latest commit 02eeef1 Feb 14, 2017 @duckinator duckinator committed on GitHub Merge pull request #143 from how-is/move-docs-to-readme
Move documentation from design/ to README.


Stories in Ready Build Status

How is [your repo]?

how_is is tool for generating summaries of the health of a codebase hosted on GitHub. It uses information available from issues and pull requests to provide an overview of a repository and highlight problem areas of the codebase.

The summary includes:

  • repository name,
  • number of open issues,
  • number of open pull requests,
  • number of open issues associated with each label and with no label,
  • average issue age,
  • average pull request age,
  • date oldest issue was opened,
  • date oldest pull request was opened.

If you want to contribute or discuss how_is, you can join Bundler's slack and join the #how_is channel.


$ gem install how_is


Command Line

$ how_is <orgname>/<reponame> [--report FILENAME]


$ how_is rubygems/rubygems --report report.html

The above command creates a HTML file containing the summary at ./report.html.

If you don't pass the --report flag, it defaults to ./report.html.

Generating reports, using a JSON report as a cache

You can use a JSON report as a cache when generating another rpeort.


$ how_is rubygems/rubygems --report report.json
$ how_is --from report.json --report report.html

The first command generates a JSON report at ./report.json. The second command generates an HTML report at ./report.html, using information from ./report.json.

When using --from, no network requests are made, because all of the required information is in the JSON report.

Generating reports from a config file

You can also create a config file — typically called how_is.yml — and run how_is --config YAML_CONFIG_FILE. (E.g., if the config file is how_is.yml, you would run how_is --config how_is.yml.)

Below is an example config file, from the how-is-rubygems repository.

repository: rubygems/rubygems
    directory: _posts
      title: "%{date} Report"
      layout: default
    filename: "%{date}-report.html"
    directory: json
    filename: "%{date}.json"

The config file is a YAML file. The two root keys are repository (the repository name, of format USER_OR_ORG/REPOSITORY — e.g. how-is/how_is) and reports.

reports is a hash of key/value pairs, with the keys being the type of report ("html" or "json") and the values being another hash.

That hash can have the following keys: directory (the directory to place the report in), filename (the format string for filenames), and (optionally) frontmatter.

frontmatter is a set of key/value pairs specifying frontmatter as used by various blog engines (e.g. Jekyll), so you can set the title, layout, etc of the page.

Every value under reports is a format string, so you can do e.g. filename: "%{date}-report.html" or (under frontmatter) title: "%{date} Report".

Ruby API

# Generate an HTML report for <orgname>/<reponame>, and save it to
# report.html
report = HowIs.new('<orgname>/<reponame>').to_html
File.open('report.html', 'w') { |f| f.puts report }

# Generate a report from a config file located at ./how_is.yml.
# Example config file: https://github.com/how-is/how-is-rubygems/blob/gh-pages/how_is.yml
require 'yaml'

# Generate a report from a config Hash.
  repository: '<orgname>/<reponame>',
  reports: {
    html: {
      directory: '_posts',
      frontmatter: {
        title: '%{date} Report',
        layout: 'default'
      filename: "%{date}-report.html"
    json: {
      directory: 'json',
      filename: '%{date}.json'


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake spec to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment. Run bundle exec how_is to use the gem in this directory, ignoring other installed copies of this gem.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to rubygems.org.


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at https://github.com/how-is/how_is. This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.