GuerillaPatch: An interface for monkey patching objects for Ruby 1.9 and 2.0

At RubyConf this week, the first preview of the upcoming Ruby 2.0 was released. One of the new features is refinements, a way of adding new behavior to an object that only takes place within a certain scope. This allows a safer way to extend existing objects without screwing up code that may be depending on the original behavior. A common example of this is ActiveSupport, which adds extensions to many of the core classes. With refinements, these extensions can be added to a refinement module, which can then be "used" in other namespaces without affecting the object globally.

This is a powerful new feature, but I was curious how best to write library code that uses it in a way that is interoperable with Ruby 1.9. I created a gem called GuerillaPatch which provides a single interface that will extend an object with a refinement if run under Ruby 2.0, and fall back to simply modifying the class globally if run under 1.9.

Install with gem install guerilla_patch. The source code and usage examples are available on GitHub.