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Webpacker: Side effects of using window.* within the ProvidePlugin

Some older Node modules rely on window.jQuery to be present. One suggested solution is to use this config in the app/config/webpack/environment.js:

const { environment } = require('@rails/webpacker')
const webpack = require('webpack')

environment.plugins.prepend(
  'Provide',
  new webpack.ProvidePlugin({
    $: 'jquery',
    jQuery: 'jquery',
    'window.jQuery': 'jquery'
  })
)

module.exports = environment

This will work. But a side effect is that the fo…

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RSpec: Debug flickering test suites with rspec --bisect

In modern default RSpec configurations, your tests are usually run in random order. This helps to detect "flickering" tests that only fail when run in a certain order.

The reason for this are tests that have side effects causing other tests to fail later. The hard part is to find the offending test.

Enter rspec --bisect:

  1. Say you have a flickering test that passes on its own, but you just saw it fail in a full test run. At the top of the RSpec output, you will see a message like Randomized with seed 12345. Take a note of the number….
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It's OK to put block elements inside an <a> tag

In general, you should not put a block element inside an inline element. So don't do this:

<span>
  <div>text</div>
</span>

The browser will think you wrote invalid HTML by accident, and will sometimes reorder elements silently.

There is one notable exception: It's OK to wrap block elements in a <a> tag in HTML5 (not 4). The spec says:

The a element may be wrapped around entire paragraphs, lists, tables, and so forth, even entire sections, so long …

PostgreSQL vs MySQL: How to UPDATE using a JOIN

When you want to UPDATE a table with information from an associated table, you can JOIN the associated table into the statement.

Example

Let's say you have a database schema where an Employee belongs_to :department:

+-----------------+
| Employee        |                   +------------+
|-----------------| n               1 | Department |
| email           |-------------------|------------+
| department_id   |                   | name       |
+-----------------+                   +------------+

Because of perfo…

How to test Autoprefixer and CSSnext in PostCSS

PostCSS is a tool for transforming styles with JS plugins. In Webpacker you can configure the plugins and their settings via the postcss.config.js file.

module.exports = {
  plugins: [
    require('postcss-import'),
    require('postcss-flexbugs-fixes'),
    require('postcss-preset-env')({
      autoprefixer: {
        flexbox: 'no-2009'
      },
      stage: 3
    })
  ]
}

Note: Stage 3 means you can use all CSS features that are listed as "This idea is becoming part of the web". Do not use …

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RestClient / Net::HTTP: How to communicate with self-signed or misconfigured HTTPS endpoints

Occasionally, you have to talk to APIs via HTTPS that use a custom certificate or a misconfigured certificate chain (like missing an intermediate certificate).

Using RestClient will then raise RestClient::SSLCertificateNotVerified errors, or when using plain Net::HTTP:

OpenSSL::SSL::SSLError: SSL_connect returned=1 errno=0 state=SSLv3 read server certificate B: certificate verify failed

Here is how to fix that in your application.

Important: Do not disable certificate checks for production. The interwebs are full of people say…

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Speed up your websites: Put JavaScripts at bottom

For websites that don't do JavaScript rendering on the client, it's best practice to put script tags at the bottom of the HTML. This way, the page can start to render before scripts have been loaded and run.

The caveat is that you also have to move all other script tags from your views to the bottom of the page. This can be done with helpers.

How to implement

  1. Add the attached javascript_helper to your app.
  2. Move your `javascript_i…
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Know your Haml comments

There are two distinct ways of commenting Haml markup: HTML and Ruby.

HTML comments

This will create an HTML comment that will be sent to the client (aka browser):

/= link_to 'Example', 'www.example.com' # => <!-- = link_to 'Example', 'www.example.com' -->

Only use this variant if you need the comment to appear in the HTML.

Ruby comments

This will comment code so it will not be sent to the client:

-# = link_to 'foo'

99% of the time you'll be adding notes for other developers, or disabling code sections that should…

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Tod: A Gem for handling daytime without a date

Tod is a gem for working with daytimes.

Another additional gem?

Thus SQL has a time datatype for storing time of day in the format hh:mm:ss, neither Ruby nor Rails themselves offer an elegant way to deal with day times.

Time and DateTime both handle daytime values AND calendar date, using them to only store the time of day will end in inconsistent and thus confusing data, e. g. Time.new will initialize with the current Time in your Timezone, DateTime.new initializes at January 1, at an undefined year, without a timezone o…

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Webpack: How to avoid multiple versions of jQuery

To avoid multiple versions of a package, you can manually maintain a resolutions section in your package.json. We recommend you to do this for packages like jQuery. Otherwise the jQuery library attached to window might not include the functions of your packages that depend on jQuery.

Note: This is only an issue in case you want to use a package functionality from window e.g. $(...).datepicker() from your dev console or any other javascript within the application.

Background

By default yarn will create a folder node_modules

HTML emails with inline stylesheets and webpacker

Many mail clients do not support external style sheets. Some even require all styling inline, which means you'll have to do your styling inline. For Rails applications, you can use Roadie or premailer, which lets you keep your well-structured CSS files and do the inlining for you.

See Designing HTML email

Since Roadie is now in passive maintenance mode, we go with premailer:

Include premailer in your Gemfile:

```
gem 'premailer-ra…

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When reading model columns during class definition, you must handle a missing/empty database

When doing some meta-programming magic and you want to do something for all attributes of a class, you may need to access connection or some of its methods (e.g. columns) during class definition.

While everything will be fine while you are working on a project that is in active development, the application will fail to boot when the database is missing or has no tables. This means that Raketasks like db:create or db:migrate fail on a freshly cloned project.

The reason is your environment.rb which is loaded for Raketasks and calls…

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The developer console can do more than you think!

You can do so much more than console.log(...)! See the attached link for a great breakdown of what the developer console can give you.

Some of my favorites:

console.log takes many arguments

E.g. console.log("Current string:", string, "Current number:", 12)

E.g. console.log("Check out the current %o, it's great", location)

[Di…

Migration from the Asset Pipeline to Webpacker

This is a short overview of things that are required to upgrade a project from the Asset Pipeline to Webpacker. Expect this upgrade to take a few days even the diff is quite small afterwards.

Preparations

1. Find all libraries that are bundled with the asset pipeline. You can check the application.js and the application.css for require and import statements. The source of a library is most often a gem or a vendor directory.
2. Find an working example for each library in the application and write it down.
3. Find out the ver…

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ActionMailer: Preview mails directly in your email client

In Rails, we usually have a mailer setup like this:

class MyMailer < ActionMailer::Base

  def newsletter
    mail to: 'receiver@host.tld',
      from: 'sender@host.tld',
      subject: 'My mail'
  end

end

If you want to preview your mail in the browser, you can use the Action Mailer Preview. To inspect the mail directly in your email client, just create an .eml file and open it with your client:

```ruby
mail = MyMailer.newsletter
Fil…

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MySQL: How to create columns like "bigint" or "longtext" in Rails migrations, and what :limit means for column migrations

Rails understands a :limit options when you create columns in a migration. Its meaning depends on the column type, and sometimes the supplied value.

The documentation states that :limit sets the column length to the number of characters for string and text columns, and to the number of bytes for binary and integer columns.

Using it

This is nice since you may want a bigint column to store really long numbers in it. You can just create it by …

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Github Cheat Sheet

All the hidden and not hidden features of Git and GitHub.

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