August 07, 2013

Introducing the Giphy gem

Graphics Interchange Format better known as GIF was introduced back in 1987 by CompuServe to provide a color image format for their file downloading areas. GIFs have been an important part of the web since then.

Earlier this year Steve Wilhite received a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of inventing the GIF file format and he took the opportunity to tell everyone what’s the correct way to pronounce GIF. People in Twitter went crazy about it. I don’t think a lot of people is going to change the way they prononunce the word and I don’t really care, I just thought it was cool he used a GIF as his acceptance speech. Watch it yourself:

Nowadays, GIFs are basically used by 90’s websites and by people who wants to have fun sharing them. I would say there are already some GIFs that can be called the classics. For me, GIFs are a great way to joke around with friends and in the workplace, an image says more than a thousand words.

Finding the right GIF is hard, I’ve found that the process of googling and looking one by one at the results that look interesting came time consuming and it’s really tedious. Fortunately there’s a solution for that and it’s called Giphy. Giphy is the world’s first search engine devoted entirely to the GIF medium.

But Giphy is not limited to the browser, it has an API (still on beta) which can be used to build any sort of crazy thing you want, check out some cool use cases here.

Since I enjoy using Giphy so much, I decided to give back by creating a Ruby wrapper for the API and also decided to add it a litle extra spice. The Giphy Gem not only allows you to get GIFs in your Ruby programs but also allows you to search for them from the command line!

I encourage you to use Giphy Gem, have fun with it, go crazy and contribute.

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