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DSL for file system interaction
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Tired of having a hard time working with files? Take a look at Fast...

require "fast"

lib_dir = dir! :lib # Creates a new dir "lib"

lib_dir["demo.txt"] = "I love creating files from a Hash-like API"  
  # Creates lib/demo.txt containing the text

lib_dir.list  # => ['demo.txt']

file! "lib/empty.txt" # New file lib/empty.txt

lib_dir.files do |path|
  puts path
end # => demo.txt
    #    empty.txt


dir? :lib     # => false

...and finally is quite stable so you can use it if you wish so.

Fast is a DSL for file and dir handling focused in intuitivity and semantics. Fast is pure Ruby, don't relays on OS functions, so is a little slower but more portable.


gem install fast


Fast declares two sets of methods in its DSL:

Dir methods

dir :lib                # The same as => "lib"
dir.delete! "demo"      # The same as =>! "demo"

dir! :new_dir           # The same as =>! :new_dir
dir? :new_dir           # The same as => :new_dir

File methods

file "demo.txt"         # The same as => "demo.txt"
file.copy "demo.txt", "new.txt"  # The same as =>
                      # "demo.txt", "new.txt"

file! "demo.txt"        # The same as =>! "demo.txt"
file? "demo.txt"        # The same as => "demo.txt"


Fast embraces the more straightforward view of files as strings of data and directories as arrays of files/directories. Why?

  • It is more realistic in everyday usage
  • It makes them more object-like (and thus, more friendly to OOP)
  • It is more semantic
  • Files as IOs are still accessible through the harder-to-use native Ruby API

Fast::Dir is a subclass of Array, usable as a hash, and Fast::File if a subclass of String.


It is a known issue that the DSL of Fast conflicts with Pry and most notable with Rake; I am aware that is a bold move to reclaim file from the standard namespace for Fast to use.

In order to workaround that, you can require fast in a not-so-much DSL way:

require "fast/fast"

Fast.file "myfile.txt" # The same as `file "myfile.txt"`

Fast.dir! :lib # etc...

This is also the recommended form when using Fast in the context of a library.

Also: try to avoid using Fast in a library, because Fast is mostly semantic sugar and you want to avoid adding loading time just for the sake of having a couple of convenience methods. Fast is more fun when used for code sketching and simple scripts.

Quick notes (to self)

  • Rename FilesystemObject: Item, CommonMethods, AbstractFile, FastHelpers (think!)
  • Deliberate whether is a good idea to make Fast::Dir and Fast::File Multitons. (May be only when an absolute path is used)
  • The path can be setted indirectly by any method of Fast::File instances, and the same works for Dir. This is fine because allows for very quick calls, but once an instance gets a path setted it should be fixed and raise an exception in case some other method call is trying to change it.


  • Read bytes as binary ASCII-8BIT always and then try to perform an heuristic conversion, if there is any reasonable way to do it. Otherwise, leave it to the user. Google: "ruby string encode utf-8 ascii" for some good readings.


  • Calls to #dirs and #files should delegate to a SubSetter
  • Change the behaviour in the calls to #dirs and #files: return a new instance, with no @path setted.
  • Change the behaviour in the initialization: call #list always if there's a path an the path matches an existing directory
  • Allow for easy recursive calls (#list_all, #files_all, #dirs_all for example, think of better synonyms)
  • Deliberate whether "#<<" should be kept in Fast::Dir and if it should be used as alias for merge
  • An instance of Fast::Dir should be possible to be created from a Array. (pity I didn't specified an usage case)
  • Add documentation to Patterns::Adapter::Fast::Dir

Remote future

  • Make Fast a REST client (well, use rest-client) in order to transparently use files and directories from a compliant REST server.
  • Include REST methods: Dir#post, File#get, File#head, etc and equivalents for local files (prepare ground for Piano Rest)
  • Allow Files to behave as Dirs with the right method calls


GPL License. Why other?

@ Xavier Via

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