What is github.com/zombocom and why most of my Ruby libraries there?24 Feb 2023
The other day I got another question about the
zombocom org on GitHub that prompted me to write this post. This org, github.com/zombocom, holds most all of my popular libraries). Why put them in a custom GitHub org, and why name it zombocom? Let’s find out.
Why a custom org?
If you’re maintaining one or two libraries, keeping them in your GitHub user’s namespace is easy enough. For me, this is https://github.com/schneems. The zombocom org has 18 libraries, 16 of which I created.
I want to encourage people to contribute to my libraries, so I’ve taken to giving commit access to developers who land a successful PR. I still control releasing, so this permissive default is intended to allow developers with ambition to express themselves while giving me an opportunity to QA and chime in on changes.
I wanted to take this a step further and give them access to ALL my libraries to make it even easier to contribute. This strategy is time-consuming if my libraries are all under github.com/schneems, so I moved them into a custom org name and called it a day.
Why name it zombocom?
Making a custom org name is familiar for top-rated gems/libraries. For example, github.com/puma or github.com/CodeTriage. My most popular library on zombocom is
get_process_mem with 52 million downloads. But an org with that same name would be overly restrictive.
Custom orgs are usually named around a common theme. But my libraries don’t have a shared theme aside from being a thing I wrote that hopefully makes your life easier.
I didn’t want 16 namespaces for 16 libraries. I wanted a place where anything was possible. So I named it after Zombo.com:
Anything is possible at Zombocom. The infinite is possible at Zombocom. The unobtainable is unknown at Zombocom. Welcome to Zombocom
Another org inspired this move github.com/sparklemotion. This org was initially used for Nokogiri (the most popular XML/HTML parsing library for Ruby), and other libraries were added over time. The name is a joke from the movie Donnie Darko:
Sometimes I Doubt Your Commitment To Sparkle Motion.
The Nokogiri library and the sparklemotion org were created by Aaron Patterson, aka tenderlove. I asked him about it at a conference once, and he said he made it for similar reasons.
Some ask if I also made Zombo.com, but the answer is no. I have nothing to do with that site and don’t know who originally wrote it. The name is a tribute to a meme before memes. If the author ever wants to share my org name to put their website source, that would be fun. After all, anything is possible.