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Pivots Talking Tuesday: Nokogiri – Past, Present and Future

Ever wonder how that one gem you use all the time came to be? New York Pivot, Mike Dalessio, tells the story of Nokogiri in today’s video from GoRuCo 2013. Watch to see how what started as an email conversation, turned into a gem with 12 million downloads!

Mike Dalessio from Gotham Ruby Conference on Vimeo.

Over the past few years, Nokogiri has slowly eclipsed older XML parsing libraries to garner nearly 10 million downloads from

But why another XML parsing library? Isn’t it boring? And what does “nokogiri” mean in Japanese, anyway?

These questions will be answered, and I’ll do a brief dive into all the technologies that we use to make Nokogiri a fast, reliable and robust gem. Topics will include:

  • Origins of the project: motivation, problems and impact
  • Native C and Java extensions
  • FFI, and how to know if it’s Right For You
  • Debugging tools (valgrind, perftools)
  • Packaging tools (mini_portile, rake-compiler)
  • Installation issues, and what we’re doing to help
  • Feature roadmap
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