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Rails: A Rails scaffold generator that generates DRYer, cleaner, and more useful code. IMPORTANT: Not maintained anymore.

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A Rails scaffold generator that generates DRYer, cleaner, and more useful code.

h2. Description

DryScaffold is a replacement for the Rails scaffold generator that generates code that most people end up deleting or rewriting anyway because of the unusable code. The scaffold concept is powerful, but it has more potential than generating messy and almost useless code - something that might change with Rails 3 though. The goal with DryScaffold is to generate DRY, beautiful, and standards compliant code based on common patterns without adding a lot of assumptions.

Key Concepts:

  • Controllers that are DRY, RESTful, no code-smells, following conventions, and implementing VERY common patterns.
  • Views that are DRY, semantic, standards compliant, valid, and more useful in development.
  • Factories instead of fixtures.
  • Generator that gets smart with additional arguments - but not stupid without them.
  • Any Rails developer should be able to switch generator with no effort - follow current conventions, but extend them.

h2. Dependencies

h3. Required:

  • "haml": - ERB sucks like PHP, end of story

h3. Optional:

h4. Controllers/Views

  • "inherited_resources": - DRY/Resourceful controllers
  • "formtastic": - DRY and semantic forms
  • "will_paginate": - Pagination

h4. Models

  • "factory_girl": - Fixture-replacement
  • "machinist": - Fixture-replacement
  • "object_daddy": - Fixture-replacement

h4. Testing

  • "shoulda": - Testing framework
  • "rspec": - Testing framework

h2. Features

h3. Overview

The most characteristic features:

  • Generates DRY controllers + functional tests.
  • Generates DRY, semantic, and standard compliant views in HAML - not just HAMLized templates.
  • Generates formtastic - very DRY - forms (using "formtastic" by Justin French et. al.) by default. Note: Can be turned off.
  • Generates resourceful - even DRYer - controllers (using the "inherited_resources" by José Valim) by default. Note: Can be turned off.
  • Collection pagination using will_paginate by default. Note: Can be turned off.
  • Optionally specify what actions/views to generate (stubs for specified REST-actions will be generated).
  • Optionally specify what respondto-formats to generate (stubs for the most common respondto-formats will be generated).
  • Generates default helpers/models/migrations, and REST-routes (if not already defined).
  • Override default templates with app-specific ones without hassle.

h3. Formtastic Forms

Quick and dirty; Formtastic makes your form views cleaner, and your life as a Rails developer easier (for real). Formtastic forms can be turned off, but I would recommend any Rails developer to consider using it - there is really no good reason not to if you not running very old version of Rails.

h4. Standard

HAML + ActionView FormHelpers:

- form_for(@duck) do |f|
  = f.error_messages
      = f.label :name, 'Name'
      = f.text_field :name
      = f.label :about, 'About'
      = f.text_area :about
    = f.submit 'Create'

h4. Formtastic

HAML + Formtastic:

- semantic_form_for(@duck) do |f|
  - f.inputs do
    = f.input :name
    = f.input :about
  - f.buttons do
    = f.commit_button 'Create'

Find out more about formtastic: "":

h3. Resourceful Controllers

Quick and dirty; InheritedResources makes your controllers controllers cleaner, and might make experienced Rails developer's life DRYer code wise. This is possible because of REST as a convention in Rails, and therefore the patterns that arise in controllers can be DRYed up A LOT. Resourceful - InheritedResources-based - controllers can be turned off, but I would recommend any experienced Rails developer to consider using it - there is really no good reason not to unless maybe if you are a Rails beginner, then you should consider get used to the basic Rails building blocks first.

h4. Standard

Using ActionController:

def new
  @duck =

  respond_to do |format|
    format.html # new.html.haml
    format.xml  { render :xml => @duck }
    format.json { render :json => @duck }

h4. Resourceful

Using InheritedResources:

actions :new
respond_to :html, :xml, :json

Find out more about inherited_resources: "":

h3. Pagination

Pagination is such a common feature that always seems to be implemented anyway, so DryScaffold will generate a DRY solution for this in each controller that you can tweak - even thought that will not be needed in most cases. See DRY Patterns beneath for more details how it's done. Pagination - using WillPaginate - can be turned off.

Find out more about will_paginate: "":

h3. DRYying Patterns

Either if you choosing default or resourceful controllers, this pattern is used to DRYing up controllers a bit more, and at the same time loading resources in the same place using before_filter while adding automatic pagination for collections.

h4. Standard

ActionController with pagination:

before_filter :load_resource, :only => [:show, :edit, :update, :destroy]
before_filter :load_and_paginate_resources, :only => [:index]



  def collection
    paginate_options ||= {}
    paginate_options[:page] ||= (params[:page] || 1)
    paginate_options[:per_page] ||= (params[:per_page] || 20)
    @collection = @resources ||= Duck.paginate(paginate_options)
  alias :load_and_paginate_resources :collection

  def resource
    @resource = @resource = ||= Duck.find(params[:id])
  alias :load_resource :resource

h4. Resourceful

InheritedResources with pagination:


  def collection
    paginate_options ||= {}
    paginate_options[:page] ||= (params[:page] || 1)
    paginate_options[:per_page] ||= (params[:per_page] || 20)
    @resources ||= end_of_association_chain.paginate(paginate_options)

h3. View Partials

A very common pattern is to break up views in partials, which is also what DryScaffold does:

h2. Setup

Installing DryScaffold is easy:

h3. 1. Installation

Install DryScaffold...

h4. Gem (Recommended)

sudo gem install dry_scaffold

...and in config: @config/environments/[email protected]

config.gem 'dry_scaffold', :lib => false

h4. Plugin

./script/plugin install git://

h3. 2. Install Dependencies (Partly optional)

Install dependencies to release the full power of dry_scaffold. Only HAML is really required of these, but how could anyone resist candy? =)

h4. Automatic/Express

For us lazy ones... =) Note: Probably won't work without require the rake tasks first in the project @[email protected]: @require 'dry_scaffold/tasks'@

rake dry_scaffold:setup

Will install the dependencies, initialize HAML within current Rails project if not already done, and automatically referencing the dependency gems within the current Rails project environment config if they are not already in there (note: nothing will be overwritten).

h4. Manual

Get the want:

sudo gem install haml
sudo gem install will_paginate
sudo gem install formtastic
sudo gem install inherited_resources

...and same for the config config: @config/environments/[email protected]

config.gem 'haml'
config.gem 'will_paginate'
config.gem 'formtastic'
config.gem 'inherited_resources'

Also configure @config/environments/[email protected] with the RSpec library if you want to

config.gem 'rspec'
config.gem 'rspec-rails'

And don't forget to initialize it as well:

./script/generate rspec

To access Rake tasks in Rails from the gem version of DryScaffold you need to do this:

In your project @[email protected]:

require 'dry_scaffold/tasks'

Don't ask me why me why this is the only way with gems...Ask the Rails core team, because this is not conventions over configuration. Raur...

h2. Usage

./script/generate dry_scaffold ModelName [attribute:type attribute:type] [_actions:new,create,...] [_formats:html,json,...] [_indexes:attribute,...] [--skip-pagination] [--skip-resourceful] [--skip-formtastic] [--skip-views] [--skip-helpers] [--skip-migration] [--skip-timestamps] [--skip-tests] [--skip-controller-tests] [--layout] [--tunit] [--shoulda] [--rspec] [--fixtures] [--fgirl] [--machinist] [--odaddy]

...or use the alias @[email protected] instead of @[email protected]

For generating just a model, then use:

./script/generate dry_model ModelName [attribute:type attribute:type] [_indexes:attribute,...] [--skip-migration] [--skip-timestamps] [--skip-tests] [--tunit] [--shoulda] [--rspec] [--fixtures] [--fgirl] [--machinist] [--odaddy]

...or use the alias @[email protected] instead of @[email protected]

h3. Model Name



Same as in the default scaffold/model generator; the name of a new/existing model.

h3. Model Attributes


name:string about:text ...

Same as in the default scaffold/model generator; model attributes and database migration column types.

h3. Controller Actions



You can override what actions that should be generated directly - including custom actions.

h4. Default Actions (REST)

If no actions are specified, the following REST-actions will be generated by default:

Default controller action stubs, controller action test stubs, and corresponding views (and required partials), are generated for all of these actions.

These default actions can also be included using the quantifiers @*@ and @[email protected], which makes it easier to add new actions without having to specify all the default actions explicit. Example:

_actions:quack               # => quack
_actions:*,quack             # => show,index,new,edit,create,update,destroy,quack
_actions:new+,edit,quack     # => new,edit,create,quack
_actions:new+,edit+,quack    # => new,edit,create,update,quack

h4. Custom Actions

The above REST actions are in many RESTful applications the only ones needed. Any other specified actions will generate empty action function stubs for manual implementation. No views will be generated for custom actions.

h3. Controller Formats


_formats:html,xml,txt,...   # <=> _respond_to:html,xml,txt,...

You can override what respond_to-formats that should be generated directly - only for REST-actions right now because I tried to avoid bad assumptions.

h4. Default Formats

If no formats are specified, the following formats will be generated by default:

Default respond block stubs are generated for all of these formats - for each generated REST-action.

Like for actions, these default respond_to-formats can also be included using the alias symbol @*@, which makes it easier to add new formats without having to specify all the default formats explicit. Example:

_formats:iphone     # => _formats:iphone
_formats:*,iphone   # => _formats:html,js,xml,json,iphone

h4. Additional Formats

Also, default respond block stubs are generated for any of these formats - for each generated REST-action - if they are specified:

NOTE: Only for Non-InheritedResources controllers for now.

For the feed formats @[email protected] and @[email protected], builders are automatically generated if @[email protected] is specified. Example:

@app/views/ducks/[email protected]

  atom_feed(:language => I18n.locale) do |feed|
    feed.title 'Resources'
    feed.subtitle 'Index of all resources.'
    feed.updated (@resources.first.created_at rescue'%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%SZ'))

    @resources.each do |resource|
      feed.entry(resource) do |entry|
        entry.title 'title'
        entry.summary 'summary' do |author|

Builder generation can be skipped by specifying the @[email protected] flag.

h4. Custom Formats

The above formats are the most commonly used ones, and respond blocks are already implemented using Rails default dependencies. Any other specified formats (such as PDF, CSV, etc.) will generate empty respond block stubs for manual implementation with help of additional dependencies.

h3. Model Indexes


If model attributes are specified as:

name:string owner:reference

...then we could do this (for polymorphic association):

_indexes:owner_id                 # => (In migration:) add_index :duck, :owner_id

...or in account for a polymorphic association:

_indexes:owner_id+owner_type      # => (In migration:) add_index :duck, [:owner_id, :owner_type]

NOTE: Of need to specify indexes based on attributes that exists for this model, otherwise your migration will not be valid - DryScaffold is leaving this responsible to you.

h3. Options/Flags


--skip-resourceful --layout

h4. Scaffold

These are the options for the scaffold-generator.

h4. Model

These are the options for the model/scaffold-generators.

h4. All

As DryScaffold is built upon Rails generator, the default generator options is available as well. For more details; see Rails documentation.

h3. Setting Defaults

You can set defaults for the generator args/options in @config/[email protected] To generate this file, simply do:

rake dry_scaffold:config:generate

h3. Overriding default templates

You can very easily override the default DryScaffold templates (views, controllers, whatever...) by creating custom template files according to the same relative path as the generator templates in @RAILSROOT/lib/scaffold[email protected]

Example: Override the index view template

In DryScaffold the index template file is located in:

@GEMROOT/generators/dryscaffold/templates/views/haml/[email protected]

...which means that if you want to override it, you should have your custom template in:

@RAILSROOT/lib/scaffoldtemplates/views/haml/[email protected]

Copying template files to this location for overriding needs to be done manually for now, but maybe there will be a generator for this later on. That would be useful at least. =)

h2. Examples

No need for more samples here, just create a new Rails project, install DryScaffold and it's dependencies, and try it out!

For your inspiration, you could try the following:

./script/generate dry_scaffold Zebra name:string about:text --skip-resourceful
./script/generate dscaffold Kangaroo name:string about:text --skip-formtastic
./script/generate dscaffold Duck name:string about:text _actions:new,create,index,quack
./script/generate dscaffold Parrot name:string about:text _formats:html,xml,yml
./script/generate dmodel GoldFish name:string about:text _indexes:name --fgirl
./script/generate dmodel Frog name:string about:text _indexes:name,name+about --fixtures

...or just go crazy!

h2. Bugs & Feedback

If you experience any issues/bugs or have feature requests, just file a GitHub-issue or send me a message. If you think parts of my implementation could be implemented nicer somehow, please let me know...or just fork it and fix it yourself! =) At last, positive feedback is always appreciated!

h2. License

Copyright (c) 2009 Jonas Grimfelt, released under the MIT-license.

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