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How to: Fix json 1.8.3 with Ruby 2.5

The gem json fails to install for Ruby 2.5 if you use a version equal or below 1.8.3.

Run bundle update json --conservative to solve this issue.

The backtrace you will encounter looks like this:

```
Building native extensions. This could take a while…
ERROR: Error installing json:
ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

current directory: /home/user/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/json-1.8.3/ext/json/ext/generator /home/user/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/bin/ruby -I /home/user/.rbenv/versions/2.5.3/lib/ruby/si...

Deal with travis-ci failure to create Postgres database

Travis changed their default distribution from Ubuntu 14.04 (trusty) to 16.04 (precise). This might break your test setup for new builds.

You can solve this issue by freezing your test distribution in the .travis.yml to Ubuntu 14.04 until you have the time to solve all the issues you will have in 16.04:


dist: trusty

Error details

Here are few indicators that you ran into this issue:

Connection to the PostgreSQL database does not work anymore

Your travis-ci builds might have started failing on the usual

```
psql -c…

Linked contentAuto-destruct in 53 days

Updated: Running Rails 2 apps with modern MariaDB SQL server

Clarified that re-installing mysql and mysql2 gems is required after switching to MariaDB.

Bundler: How to install version 1 instead of 2 (latest version)

When installing a gem you can use version comparators like >= or ~>. That way it is possible to fetch the latest version of Bundler 1 with this command:

gem install bundler -v '~>1'

How to install bundler for Ruby < 2.3 is a common usecase where you might need Bundler 1.

Heads up: Capybara 3's text matchers no longer squish whitespace by default

Until Capybara 2, node finders that accept a text option were able to find nodes based on rendered text, even if it spans over multiple elements in the HTML. Imagine a page that includes this HTML:

<div class='haystack'>
  Hi!
  <br>
  Try to match me.
</div>

Even though the text is separated by a <br> tag in the HTML, it is matched until Capybara 2 which used to "squish" text prior to the comparison.

```ruby
page.find('.haystack', text: …

Linked contentDeprecated

Execution of shell code in Ruby scripts

Deprecated ways to execute shell code in Ruby

This is just a reference for legacy code. For new code, always use capture3.

%x{ } or backticks – quick and easy

Returns the standard output of running the given command in a subshell. This is an alias for `…`, and you can use string interpolation.

Example:

name = 'ls'
result = `which #{name}`

It does not escape anything you inject in the string.

If you want to find out if the call was …

Webpack: How to split your bundles

To keep JavaScript sources small, it can sometimes make sense to split your webpack bundles. For example, if your website uses some large JavaScript library – say TinyMCE – which is only required on some select pages, it makes sense to only load that library when necessary.

In modern webpack this is easily doable by using the asynchronous import function.

Say we have an unpoly compiler that sets up TinyMCE like this (code is somewhat simplified):

```
// TinyMCE as part of the main bundle!

import tinymce from 'tinymce/tinymce'

// UI
im…

Repeats

Webpack(er): Analyze the size of your JavaScript components

We're always striving towards keeping our website's JavaScript as small as possible.

If you're using webpack(er), you can use the webpack-bundle-analyzer plugin to get a good overview, which of your JavaScript modules take up how much space, and where you can optimize.

To use it, add it via npm or yarn

yarn add webpack-bundle-analyzer

Then add this to your environment.js:

```
// Uncomment this code to show statistics of bundle sizes. Generated file will automatically o…

Repeats

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…

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…

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…

During deployment: "You are trying to install in deployment mode after changing your Gemfile"

While deploying an Ruby update to an old application these days, we encountered the following misleading error:

*** [err :: some-host.makandra.de] You are trying to install in deployment mode after changing
*** [err :: some-host.makandra.de] your Gemfile. Run `bundle install` elsewhere and add the
*** [err :: some-host.makandra.de] updated Gemfile.lock to version control.
*** [err :: some-host.makandra.de] 
*** [err :: some-host.makandra.de] You have deleted from the Gemfile:
*** [err :: some-host.makandra.de] *

We found out a newe…

Repeats

Authorize allowed values with assignable_values

All our projects have enum-like requirements like this:

  • An attribute value must be included in a given set of values.
  • The list of allowed values must be retrievable in order to render <select> boxes.
  • Each value has a humanized label.
  • Sometimes there is a default value.

Most of the time, this requirement is also needed:

  • The list of assignable values depends on the user who is currently signed in.

In our past projects there are many different solutions for these related requirements, e.g. ChoiceTrait, methods like `available_…

Using local fonts with Webpack / Webpacker

When we want to use our own (or bought) fonts in an application with Webpack(er), we have two options. We can

  • put the fonts directly into your Webpack's assets folder or
  • write an npm package with an own sass file that can be imported from the Webpack manifest.

Load fonts from your assets folder

The first option turns out to be straightforward: Import the stylesheets in the index.js of the pack you're using:

```javascript
// webpack_source_path/application/index.js

import './stylesheets/reset'
import…

Linked contentRepeats

Debugging AJAX requests with better_errors

better_errors is an awesome gem for enhanced error pages in development, featuring a live-REPL for some light debugging.

To debug the exception you got on an AJAX-Request, visit /__better_errors on your app's root path (e.g. http://localhost:3000/__better_errors). It shows the error page for the last exception that occurred, even when it has been triggered by an AJAX request.

Upgrade guide for moving a Rails app from Webpack 3 to Webpack 4

Webpacker is Rails' way of integrating Webpack, and version 4 has been released just a few days ago, allowing us to use Webpack 4.

I successfully upgraded an existing real-world Webpack 3 application. Below are notes on everything that I encountered.
Note that we prefer not using the Rails asset pipeline at all and serving all assets through Webpack for the sake of consistency.

Preparations

  • Remove version locks in Gemfile for webpacker
  • Remove version locks in package.json for webpack and webpack-dev-server
  • Install by ca…
Repeats

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…
Repeats

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…

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