Lately I have been using more and more gems for my diverse Rails projects and gigs (shameless plug: if you are looking for a Rails guy, I’m your guy!), from authlogic to the youtube-g wrapper without forgetting devise or paperclip in the middle just to name a few! I’ve come to the realization that the power of Ruby is in the gems, an awesome way to distribute new pluggable features for everyone to use.
What do I mean by that? Well, it’s pretty simple: take an app you’ve written, most apps will do, now take a look at your Gemfile, in the case of Rails, and tell me how many gems you’ve used! Could be devise, koala, paperclip, or anything really. I’m pretty sure you will find a bunch of them.
The point is, thanks to the gems you didn’t have to go re-invent the wheel or even have to download a bunch of complicated libraries that you then have to massage into working with your app.
The gems in a whole are awesome because they let you be more efficient so you can spend less time on integrating 3rd party APIs or tools and more time on focusing on your business, your programming, or even having fun!