3891 cards

Shortcut for getting ids for an ActiveRecord scope

You can use .ids on an ActiveRecord 4+ scope to pluck all the ids of the relation

User.where("users.name LIKE 'Foo Bar'").ids

# same as (since Rails 3.2)
User.where("users.name LIKE 'Foo Bar'").pluck(:id)

If you are stuck on Rails 2.3 you can use Edge Rider's collect_ids:

User.where("users.name LIKE 'Foo Bar'").collect_ids(:id)

Carrierwave processing facts

  1. Class-level process definitions are only applied to the original file
  2. Versions are generated based on the processed original file
  3. Callbacks (before/after) are applied to original file and each version by itself
  4. Under the hood, a version is an instance of the uploader class that has no versions
  5. Version uploader and original uploader can be distinguished by checking #version_name: version uploaders return the version name, whereas the original uploader instance returns nil
  6. Version instances do not have a re...

Difference between respond_to/format and params[:format]

To return non-HTML responses (like XLS spreadsheets), we usually use the

respond_to do |format|
  format.xls do
    # send spreadsheet

This is often, but not always the same as checking for params[:format] == :xls, so don't rely on this when e.g. one format checks for authorization and the other doesn't.

params[:format] is only set when a user explicitly puts a .xls at the end of the URL.

The format.xls block also responds when the user's browser requests the application/excel MIME type.

If Intern...

WYSIWYG with Action Text

Rails 6 includes a WYSIWYG editor, Action Text. It works out of the box quite well, but chances are that you want to add some custom functionality. This card contains some tips how to achieve this.


Basically, follow the guide in the Rails documentation. The automated script may not work with the way webpacker is configured in your project, but it should be easy to fix.

If you don't want the default c...

Linked content

Rails: Postgres Partial Indexing

PostgreSQL has partial indexes. With a partial index you tell Postgres to only index rows matching a given query.

Some uses cases for a partial index:

  • You want a uniqueness index, but only under some conditions
  • Your table is very large and indexing every row becomes expensive

The linked article shows how to create a partial index with Rails.


DNS debug tools

There are several tools for DNS debugging which offer you more or less information. Most of the time the more simple ones, like host oder nslookup will be sufficient.


simple DNS lookup utility.

>host heise.de
heise.de has address
heise.de has IPv6 address 2a02:2e0:3fe:1001:302::
heise.de mail is handled by 10 relay.heise.de.


query Internet domain name servers. Nslookup has two modes: interactive and non-interactive.

>nslookup heise.de

How to fix "Command "webpack" not found"

I just ran into this deployment error after switching from the asset pipeline to webpack:

01:05 deploy:assets:precompile
      01 bundle exec rake assets:precompile
      01 Compiling...
      01 Compilation failed:
      01 yarn run v1.22.5
      01 error Command "webpack" not found.
rake stderr: Nothing written

The problem is not related to the "webpack" dependency. You probably just forgot to add a binstub to run "yarn install":

Add these lines to "bin/ya...

Linked content

InfoQ: How to Design a Good API & Why it Matters

A well-written API can be a great asset to the organization that wrote it and to all that use it. Given the importance of good API design, surprisingly little has been written on the subject. In this talk (recorded at Javapolis), Java library designer Joshua Bloch teaches how to design good APIs, with many examples of what good and bad APIs look like.


What collapsing margins are, how they work and when margins do not collapse

Imagine you have 2 HTML boxes. The first one has a margin-bottom of let's say 30px and the second one a margin-top of 20px. After rules of collapsing margins have been applied we have a margin of 30px (not 50px) between these two boxes . This is because no addition of both margins takes place but the maximum of both is applied. This behavior is called collapsing margins.

Oftentimes it is a good behavior but collapsing margins can be annoying, too. For example child el...


Guide to localizing a Rails application

Localizing a non-trivial application can be a huge undertaking. This card will give you an overview over the many components that are affected.

When you are asked to give an estimate for the effort involved, go through the list below and check which points are covered by your requirements. Work with a developer who has done a full-app localization before and assign an hour estimate to each of these points.

Static text

  • Static strings and template text in app must be translated: Screens, mailer templates, PDF templates, helpe...

Rails: How to use custom flash types in controllers

Rails supports alert and notice as default flash types. This allows you to use these keys as options in e.g. redirect_to and as a helper in views e.g. <%= notice %> (instead of flash[:notice]).

class SomeController < ApplicationRecord
  def create
    @user = User.create!
    redirect_to user_path(@user), notice: "#{@user} created!" 

In case you are using Bootstrap as CSS framework you might also want to support flashes like success. This can be done with the add_flash_types method.

class Applicat...

Git: Parsing large diffs as a human

I just finished migrating a project from the Asset Pipeline to Webpacker, this is what my diff to master looks like:

5.825 files changed, 44.805 insertions(+), 529.948 deletions(-)
warning: inexact rename detection was skipped due to too many files.
warning: you may want to set your diff.renameLimit variable to at least 5134 and retry the command.

There is no way me or my peer reviewer is able to parse 500k+ lines of code. Fortunately, git has ...


We now have our own memoization gem "Memoized"

We forked trusty memoizer to make two changes:

  1. Memoized methods now preserve their arity. Previously all memoized methods had an arity of -1.
  2. Memoized methods are now faster at runtime. This will only be noticable if you call a memoized methods many times in the same request.

We published our fork as a new gem named memoized.

memoized is API-compatible to memoizer, you just need to include Memoized instead of `M...


Efficiently add an event listener to many elements

When you need to add a event listener to hundreds of elements, this might slow down the browser.

An alternative is to register an event listener at the root of the DOM tree (document). Then wait for events to bubble up and check whether the triggering element (event.target) matches the selector before you run your callback.

This technique is called event delegation.

Performance considerations

Because you only register a single listener, registering is very fast. The trade-off is that your listener needs to check every event of t...


Auto-generating plain-text bodies for HTML e-mails in Rails apps

When building an application that sends e-mails to users, you want to avoid those e-mails from being classified as spam. Most obvious scoring issues will not be relevant to you because you are not a spammer.

However, your application must do one thing by itself: When sending HTML e-mails, you should include a plain-text body or tools like SpamAssassin will apply a significant score penalty. Here is how to do that automatically.

  1. Add premailer-rails to your Gemfile and bundle.
  2. Done! ...

Ruby: How to load a file with a known encoding

In case Ruby does not detected the expected encoding of a file automatically you can specify the known encoding manually.

Example with File.open

file = File.open('some.bin', encoding: Encoding::ASCII_8BIT)
text = file.read
text.encoding => #<Encoding:ASCII-8BIT>

Example with File.read

text = File.read('some.bin', encoding: Encoding::ASCII_8BIT)
text.encoding => #<Encoding:ASCII-8BIT>

More details about the encoding of strings in Ruby can be found [here](https://makandracards.com/makandra/474671-guide-to-string-encodi...

Linked content

Fixing memory leaks in web applications

In my experience, the most common sources of memory leaks are APIs like these:

  • addEventListener. This is the most common one. Call removeEventListener to clean it up.
  • setTimeout / setInterval. If you create a recurring timer (e.g. to run every 30 seconds), then you need to clean it up with clearTimeout or clearInterval. (setTimeout can leak if it’s used like setInterval – i.e., scheduling a new setTimeout inside of the setTimeout callback.)
  • IntersectionObserver, ResizeObserver, MutationObserver, etc. These new-ish APIs are very...

How to communicate between processes in Ruby with sockets

In Ruby you can communicate between processes with sockets. This might be helpful in tests that validate parallel executions or custom finalization logic after the garbage collector. Here is an example how such an communication will look like:

require 'socket'

# DGRAM has the advantage that it stops reading the pipe if the next messages starts. In case the message size is larger than the
# BUFFER_SIZE, you need to handle if you are reading another part of the current message or if you already reading the
# next mess...
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