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HTTP should be simple and easy! It should be so straightforward it makes you happy every time you use it.

The Http library makes it easy to construct requests using a simple chaining system.

Making Requests

Let's start with getting things:

Http.get ""

That's it! The result is the response body.

Making POST requests is simple too. Want to POST a form? "", :form => {:foo => "42"}

Want to POST with a specific body, JSON for instance? "", :body => JSON.dump(:foo => '42')

Or have it serialize JSON for you: "", :json => {:foo => '42'}

It's easy!

Adding Headers

The Http library uses the concept of chaining to simplify requests. Let's say you want to get the latest commit of this library from Github in JSON format. One way we could do this is by tacking a filename on the end of the URL:

Http.get ""

The Github API happens to support this approach, but really this is a bit of a hack that makes it easy for people typing URLs into the address bars of browsers to perform the act of content negotiation. Since we have access to the full, raw power of HTTP, we can perform content negotiation the way HTTP intends us to, by using the Accept header:

Http.with_headers(:accept => 'application/json').

This requests JSON from Github. Github is smart enough to understand our request and returns a response with Content-Type: application/json. If you happen to have a library loaded which defines the JSON constant and implements JSON.parse, the Http library will attempt to parse the JSON response.

Shorter aliases exists for HTTP.with_headers:

Http.with(:accept => 'application/json').

Http[:accept => 'application/json'].

Content Negotiation

As important a concept as content negotiation is HTTP, it sure should be easy, right? But usually it's not, and so we end up adding ".json" onto the ends of our URLs because the existing mechanisms make it too hard. It should be easy:


This adds the appropriate Accept header for retrieving a JSON response for the given resource.

Curb Compatibility

The Http gem provides partial compatibility with the Curb::Easy API. This is great if you're transitioning to JRuby and need a drop-in API-compatible replacement for Curb.

To use the Curb compatibility, do:

require 'http/compat/curb'

Contributing to Http

  • Fork Http on github
  • Make your changes and send me a pull request
  • If I like them I'll merge them
  • If I've accepted a patch, feel free to ask for a commit bit!

Copyright (c) 2011 Tony Arcieri, Carl Lerche. See LICENSE.txt for further details.