Wavy Interactive Ruby

Wirb colorizes your inspected Ruby objects. It is based on Wirble, but only provides and improves result highlighting. It also provides a colorization engine abstraction layer and offers flexible schemas using yaml. Wirb is part of the irbtools suite.


Install the gem with:

gem install wirb


Add to your ~/.irbrc

require 'rubygems' unless defined? Gem
require 'wirb'


  • Syntax highlighting for Ruby objects

  • Does not change the inspect value

  • Support for generic objects, especially sets and enumerators

  • Comes with tests

  • Can be used without irb

  • Limited stdlib/gem objects support (e.g. Set, Gem::Requirement)

  • Supports 1.8, 1.9, jruby, rbx, head

  • Usable with any supported terminal colors engine

  • Color schemas in yaml files


To only tweak some colors, take a look at the Wirb.schema hash. To use a custom schema, inspect the yaml files in the data/wirb/ directory. You can create your own schema and load it using Wirb.load_schema(path_to_yaml_file). Alternatively, you can use one of the bundled ones by passing a symbol instead of a path.


Wirb supports multiple colorization engines. Available engines can be found in lib/wirb/colorizer/*. Some of them require external gems as dependencies (e.g. HighLine). The current default engine is Paint. You can change the colorizer using:

Wirb.load_colorizer :Paint # or :HighLine or whatever

Be careful, though! You also need to select a color schema that supports your colorizer (Schemas define supported colorizers using the :colorizer key). Load a schema with:

Wirb.load_schema! :classic_paint # make sure your colorizer is paint

You can automatically use the first colorizer of the schema by using the non-exclamation mark version:

Wirb.load_schema :classic_paint # will fail if paint is not installed

Color schemas wanted! You've got a good looking alternative color schema? Please fork and add it to data/wirb/* :)

Colorizers wanted! Your favorite terminal colors gem is not supported yet? Please fork and add it to lib/wirb/colorizer/* :D

Bundled schemas

The following schemas are bundled (load with Wirb.load_schema :name and make sure the used colorizer is available).


  • :classic_wirb0 (current default)


  • :classic_paint (paint implementation of default)

  • :colorless (only uses :bright, :underline and :inverse effect)


You can colorize any object with wp (wavy_print):

require 'wirb/wp'
wp some_object

Also see

  • Configure views for specific objects: hirb

  • Wirb is part of: irbtools

  • ripl is an irb alternative, syntax highlighting plugin (uses wirb by default): ripl-color_result

  • Advanced terminal color gems: Paint, HighLine


  • Tests for schema stuff

  • More colorizers and themes

  • Keep up with latest core/stdlib/rubygems inspects


  • Copyright © 2011 Jan Lelis <rbjl.net>, see COPYING for details.

Contributions by and thanks to:

Influenced by code from and thanks to: