HTTP Client

The gist: wrap the language you're learning's HTTP interface with a more friendly API.

Many programming languages come with libraries for making HTTP requests since it's such a common need for programmers. Sometimes the interfaces that the standard libraries provides aren't that intuitive.


Let's look at what this could be like with Ruby. Ruby provides the net/http library for making HTTP requests.

You would use it like this to fetch the JSON from a URL and return it as a Hash in Ruby:

require 'net/http'
require 'json'
url = URI('')
response_body = Net::HTTP.get(url)
res = JSON.parse(response_body)

res (truncated) is a Ruby Hash that looks like:

  "contributions"=>["Tony Ross (Illustrator)"],

Instead of repeating those three lines of code for every single request you want to make to get the parsed body, you could write a library for it.

Let's say the library is called Hyper, for the "Hyper" in HTTP. It might look like:

require 'net/http'
require 'json'

class Hyper
  def self.get(url)
    url = URI(url)
    response_body = Net::HTTP.get(url)

All you would have to do is:


To have the same output as before.

You'd then package that code up and share it as a library to use it in your various projects and for others to use.

This is a very simplified example, but I think it illustrates what this project could look like. A good library would validate the input, provide helpful errors, and allow specifying the needed options.

In the case of Ruby, if this was published as a Gem, people would install it in their Gemfile and use it throughout their code. Pretty neat!

Extra Credit

  • Add support for POST, PUT, and DELETE methods
  • Support specifying authentication headers
  • Raise errors when the HTTP response is not successful
  • Follow redirects
  • An HTTP library is quite nice. Something even neater would be a library that specifically makes making GraphQL requests easier since they're always to the same endpoint but the request body varies. Seems like a good case for a library!

See Also

  • HTTPal — write a CLI for making HTTP requests; could use the library written here!
  • API Wrapper — write wrapper for an API to make it easier to consume the API