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Ruby Facets



Ruby Facets is the premiere collection of general purpose method extensions and standard additions for the Ruby programming language.

Facets houses the largest single collection of methods available for extending the core capabilities of Ruby's built-in classes and modules. This collection of extension methods are unique by virtue of their atomicity. The methods are stored in individual files so that each can be required independently. This gives developers the potential for much finer control over which extra methods to bring into their code.

In addition Facets provides a collection of extensions to Ruby standard library plus a small collection of add-on classes and modules. Together these libraries constitute an ever improving source of reusable components, suitable to a wide variety of usecases.



Facets has special documentation needs due to it's extensive bredth. The RDocs generated when installing via RubyGems are unweildly because it combines all of Facets in one set of docs. (Hopefully we can remedy this in the future). In the mean time better organized online documentation is available at rubyworks.github.com/facets/learn.html.


The easiest way to install is via RubyGems.

$ gem install facets

To install manually, your will need Ruby Setup (:/setup.rubyforge.org). Then download and unpack the .tar.gz package and run:

$ tar -xvzf facets-2.x.x.tar.gz
$ cd facets-2.x.x
$ sudo setup.rb

Facets 2.8+ requires Ruby 1.8.7 or higher.


Facets holds to the notion that the more we can reasonably integrate into a common foundation, directed toward general needs, the better that foundation will be able to serve the community. There are a number of advantages here:

  • Better Code-reuse

  • Collaborative Improvements

  • Greater Name Consistency

  • One-stop Shop and Installation


CORE Library

At the heart of Ruby Facets is the CORE extensions library. CORE provides a sizable collection of generally useful methods, along with a few supporting classes, that extend the functionality of Ruby's core classes and modules.

By definition CORE contains anything that will load automatically when issuing:

require 'facets'

If you plan to use more then a few of Facets core method it is recommended that you require the main facility.

require 'facets'

This loads all the CORE functionality at once.

Of course you can use the CORE library piecemeal if you prefer. The general require statement for a core extensions library is:

require 'facets/<class|module>/<method-lib>'

For example:

require 'facets/time/stamp'

Most “atoms” contain only one method, but a few exceptions occur when methods are closely tied together.

You can load per-class or per-module groups of core methods by requiring the class or module by name. For example“

require 'facets/time'

Will require all the core Time method extensions.

Note that some methods that were part of CORE in 1.8 and earlier are now part of MORE libraries. A good example is 'random.rb'. There were separated because they had more specialized use cases, where as CORE extensions are intended as general purpose.

This is the recommended usage. However, you can also “cherry pick” core methods. While there are exceptions the rule of thumb for loading a core method is:

require 'facets/{class|module}/{method}'

Method File Names

Operator method redirect files are stored using English names. For instance for Proc#* is 'proc/op_mul'.

For reference, here is the chart.

+@   => op_plus
-@   => op_minus
+    => op_add
-    => op_sub
**   => op_pow
*    => op_mul
/    => op_div
%    => op_mod
~    => op_tilde
<=>  => op_cmp
<<   => op_lshift
>>   => op_rshift
<    => op_lt
>    => op_gt
===  => op_case
==   => op_equal
=~   => op_apply
<=   => op_lt_eq
>=   => op_gt_eq
|    => op_or
&    => op_and
^    => op_xor
[]=  => op_store
[]   => op_fetch

Facets simply takes the '*' and translates it into a string acceptable to all file systems. Also, if a method ends in '=', '?' or '!' it is simply removed.

MORE Library

On top of the extensive Core library, Facet provides a small collection of additional modules and classes, as well as extended versions of modules and classes in Ruby's Standard library.

Use the More library like you would any other 3rd party library. The only difference between Facets More library and other libraries is the lack of any enclosing @Facets::@ namespace. This is becuase the libraries provided by Facets are considerd fairly low-level.

When using Facets' extended versions of Ruby's standard libraries, the More libraries have to loaded manually, of course. However you do not need to load Ruby's library first, as the Facets' library will do that automatically.

For example, normally one load Ruby's OpenStruct class via:

require 'ostruct'

To load 'ostruct.rb' plus Facets extensions for it simply use:

require 'facets/ostruct'


Using the Facets/MORE library of modules, classes or microframeworks is essentially the same. For example:

require 'facets/basicobject'

Again, for details pertaining to the functionality of each feature, please see the API Docs.


This project thrives on contribution.

If you have any extension methods, classes, modules or small frameworks that you think have general applicability and would like to see them included in this project, don't hesitiate to submit. Also, if you have better versions of any thing already included or simply have a patch, they are more than welcome. We want Ruby Facets to be of the highest quality.


This collection was put together by, and largely written by Thomas Sawyer (aka Trans). He can be reached via email at transfire at gmail.com.

Some parts of this collection were written and/or inspired by other persons. Fortunately nearly all were copyrighted under the same open license, the Ruby License. In the few exceptions I have included the copyright notice with the source code.

Any code file not specifically labeled shall fall under the Ruby License.

In all cases, I have made every effort to give credit where credit is due. You will find these copyrights, thanks and acknowledgments embedded in the source code. You can see them in “CREDIT:” lines or as file-base “Author(s)” sections given in the RDocs.

Also see the AUTHORS file for a list of all contributing Rubyists. If anyone is missing from the list, please let me know and I will correct right away. Thanks.


The collection PER COLLECTION is licensed as follows:

Ruby Facets
Copyright (c) 2004,2010 Thomas Sawyer

Distributed under the terms of the Ruby license.

The Ruby license is a dual license that also provides for use of the GPL. Complete texts of both licenses accompany this document (see LICENSE).

Acknowledgments and Copyrights for particular snippets of borrowed code are given in their respective source. All licenses are either compatible with the Ruby license (namely the GPL) or the original author has given permission for inclusion of their code under such license.


Ruby Facets, Copyright ©2005,2006,2007,2008,2009,2010 Thomas Sawyer

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