Ruby application boilerplate

Posted on | 319 words | ~2mins

You know it, you’ve got an idea but the process of getting all files in place is boring and slows you down. In the end, you find yourself dealing with CSS and DataMapper configuration rather than working on the ‘real’ application logic, which I found very frustrating.


Because I don’t want to start all the time from the scratch, I created a small Ruby utility to help me bootstrap my new application development.

Boilerplater is a GIST based boiler plating managment tool that helps me start working on various projects without passing the boring initial setup. How it works? It uses GIST to store the ‘project template’, specially annotated text file that contains definition of project files.

Each file is separated by ‘## filename’ followed by its content. Some files might be downloaded from elsewhere (like CSS or Jquery). For that you can instruct boilerplater to download files and store them into defined locations.


In this case, boilerplater will create Gemfile, app.rb, views and download the twitter bootstrap CSS files to the ‘public/css’ folder. You can start immediately hacking your app.

Boilerplater come with handy command-line tool called bp:

$ bp

You can use whatever GIST you want as a boilerplate, just add the GIST ID into the bp use ID command. Since the GIST id is not the thing I want to keep in mind all the time, I added possiblity to create simple aliases that are stored locally on your computer. For example:

$ bp alias create 3265768 sinatra

$ bp use sinatra

And because it would be nice to collect all available boilerplates somewhere, I created a special GIST that collect them in ‘GIST_ID;description’ format. This will allow to search and list available boilerplates. If you have a boiler plate you want to share, simply open an pull request on the GIST above.

To learn more, read the code, navigate to boilerplate GIT repo.