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RubyURL goes GOP...

Posted by Thu, 17 Dec 2009 04:08:00 GMT

Will refrain from any political commentary, but was notified by some friends that the GOP was using the source code for RubyURL for their new URL shortening site (

To celebrate, I decided to daisy chain a few rubyurl-based sites together and came up with:


As always, you can fork/clone here

The HTTParty has just begun

Posted by Thu, 27 Nov 2008 00:54:00 GMT

After releasing the new RubyURL API, I decided that it was time to look around at libraries to interact with it. I came across a new Ruby gem from John Nunemaker named, HTTParty, which aims to make it easy to talk to XML and JSON-based web services. Be sure to read John’s announcement of HTTParty.

So, I decided it might be fun to introduce more people to the gem by showing you all how to use it to talk to the new RubyURL API.

Install HTTParty

Before we get started, you’ll need to install the HTTParty gem with the following command:

   ~ : sudo gem install httparty
  When you HTTParty, you must party hard!
  Successfully installed httparty-0.1.6
  1 gem installed
  Installing ri documentation for httparty-0.1.6...
  Installing RDoc documentation for httparty-0.1.6...

Great! Now that we’re ready to party hard, let’s build something.

Talking to the RubyURL API

The RubyURL API currently supports both XML and JSON, which are each supported by HTTParty. The great thing about HTTParty is that all you need to do is include it in a class and you’re able to quickly talk to remote services.

In this following example, we’re going to create a new class called Rubyurl.

class Rubyurl

What we’ll want to do now is include the HTTParty library. (note: you’ll need to require both rubygems and httparty gems and I’ll skip those lines in following code samples)

class Rubyurl
  include HTTParty

The HTTParty provides a few class methods, which we can use to configure our library. We’ll go ahead and specify the base_uri, which we’ll set to

class Rubyurl
  include HTTParty
  base_uri ''

Now that our class is setup to talk to the site, we’ll want to add a new method which we can use to communicate with the RubyURL API. We’ll call this shorten as we’re using RubyURL to shorten long URLs… right?

class Rubyurl
  include HTTParty
  base_uri 'localhost:3000'

  def self.shorten( website_url )

Our new shorten method will expect us to provide it with a website url, which we’ll want RubyURL to return a shortened URL for. The PATH for the API that we’ll want to talk to is: /api/links, which we’re expected to pass XML or JSON to.

Here are two examples of using the RubyURL API with HTTParty.

RubyURL via JSON w/HTTParty

We’re going to use the post method that is provided with HTTParty to send a request to /api/links.json. As you can see, we’re providing the original website url to the web service.

class Rubyurl
  include HTTParty
  base_uri ''

  def self.shorten( website_url )
    post( '/api/links.json', :query => { :link => { :website_url => website_url } } )

When ran, it’ll produce the following:

  >> Rubyurl.shorten( '' ).inspect
  => {"link"=>{"permalink"=>"", "website_url"=>""}}

Pretty simple, eh?

RubyURL via XML w/HTTParty

The great thing about HTTParty is that you can use XML without changing much.

class Rubyurl
  include HTTParty
  base_uri ''

  def self.shorten( website_url )
    post( '/api/links.xml', :query => { :link => { :website_url => website_url } } )

Produces the following

<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?>

Closing thoughts

So… there you have it. HTTParty makes it extremely easy to interact with various web services that work over HTTP. I’d encourage you all to take a few minutes to experiment with it and see what crazy ideas that come to mind during the process. :-)

Ubiquity meets RubyURL

Posted by Wed, 03 Sep 2008 00:41:00 GMT

Alex Malinovich decided to take some time this afternoon to write a Ubiquity command for RubyURL using the new RubyURL API. You can take a look at Alex’s Ubiquity code for RubyURL. He’s taking advantage of the JSON support that I added to RubyURL this weekend and JQuery. Be sure to read Alex’s blog post, which includes a screencast! =)

Also! We added this to RubyURL so that if you have Ubiquity installed, you’ll be presented with the following the next time you visit:

RubyURL ยป Keep it short (and sweet)

Related Posts

The new RubyURL API

Posted by Sun, 31 Aug 2008 17:55:00 GMT

We’ve just deployed the initial version of an API for RubyURL. It makes it really easy to create RubyURLs and is now open to the public. Should it end up being abused, we’ll consider introducing an API KEY for authenticating and tracking abuse.

In the meantime, you can now start to use the RubyURL API.

For example, the following…

$ curl  -i \ 
        -X POST \
        -H 'Content-Type: application/xml' \
        -d '<link><website_url></website_url></link>' \  


...would return the following response.

I’ll be updating the ShortURL gem in the coming days (unless someone else wants to patch it first wink) to take advantage of new API, versus how it’s currently creating RubyURLs.

You can see the code & changes for this new API on the RubyURL github site.

Update with JSON

I took a little time today to update the API and extend it to support JSON. So… you can now use the RubyURL API to generate RubyURLs via JSON. (see commits)

Enjoy! If you’re using RubyURL via the new API, I’d love to hear about it. :-)

ShortURL on Github

Posted by Thu, 24 Jul 2008 14:56:00 GMT

After noticing a few patch requests on Rubyforge.. I decided that I’d put the ShortURL gem up on GitHub as I spend quite a bit of my time there these days. :-)

I’ve also thrown up a few lines of code so that you can get the gist of the gem. ;-)

RubyURL meets Zombies!

Posted by Tue, 22 Apr 2008 15:43:00 GMT

Last Friday, Greg Borenstein sent me a link to ZombieURL after it got launched. The folks at Bottlecap Labs took RubyURL and threw in Zombies… the rest you’ll have to see for yourself.

There… I warned you.

You can check out the source code for ZombieURL on GitHub

You can also grab the underlying source code for RubyURL on GitHub.

I’d love to see what other fun things people come up with to do with RubyURL.

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