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ActiveRecord scopes


  • Understand what scopes are and how they differ from arrays
  • Understand how a purely object-oriented approach of dealing with data doesn't scale.
  • Get into a habit of off-loading list-related calculations (filtering, mapping) to the database
  • Learn about the N+1 query problem and eager loading
  • Get into a habit of explicitly resolving scopes to arrays by calling to_a (don't let it happen by accident)
  • Understand the difference between "named scopes" and ad-hoc scopes using where
  • Understand how the scope creation syntax changed between Rails 2.3 and Rails 3+



Search for MovieDB

In MovieDB, implement a method that returns a scope of movies matching the given query:

  • The query is a list of space-separated words that all need to appear in the movie title in order for the movie to match (e. g. event horizon)
  • A word can be prefixed by a minus character to exclude that word (e.g. event -horizon).
  • Make sure that the returned value is not an array but a scope that can be chained further. E.g. I should be able to use it like this:

    Copy'event -main').search('horizon').where('year > 1995').order(:year).to_a
  • In the MovieDB UI, put a search box over the movies list that is backed by
  • Write both a Cucumber scenario and RSpec examples for the search functionality, using the guidelines from the "Testing" chapter in Growing Rails Applications in Practice.
    • RSpec examples should cover all edge cases
    • Cucumber scenario should only cover one "happy path" to show successful integration

Open budgets in Project Hero (makandra only)

In Project Hero (a Rails 2.3 project), build a view that lists all open budgets with unused amounts.

  • First, build it naively by iterating over all projects, iterating over the budgets of each project, etc.
  • Ask someone for a dump of the makandra stage and load it, tail -f log/development.log and observe the performance of your view. How many MySQL queries does it trigger?
  • Now build a version of your view that does the same number of queries regardless of how many projects, budgets, activities, etc. you have.
  • When you're done: Can you move your code to a BudgetReport class with a nice API?

Author of this card:

Henning Koch
Last edit:
4 days ago
by Dominik Schöler
Posted by Henning Koch to makandra Curriculum