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Ruby: Natural sort strings with Umlauts and other funny characters

Why string sorting sucks in vanilla Ruby

Ruby's sort method doesn't work as expected with German umlauts:

["Schwertner", "Schöler"].sort
=> ["Schwertner", "Schöler"] # you probably expected ["Schöler", "Schwertner"]

Also numbers in strings will be sorted character by character which you probably don't want:

["1", "2", "11"].sort
# => ["1", "11", "2"] # you probably expected ["1", "2", "11"]

Also the sorting is case sensitive:

["a", "B"].sort
# => ["B", "a"] # yo...

Rails: How to send a test mail directly from the console

I used this Code Snippet quite often to debug issues with mails on staging and production servers. It allows you to send a custom mail directly from the console.

ActionMailer::Base.mail(
  from: "system@example.com", 
  to: "user@example.com",  
  subject: "Test mail from #{Rails.application.class}", 
  body: "This is just a test."
).deliver_now
Linked contentAuto-destruct in 51 days

Spreewald 1.12 no longer depends on jQuery

In the past, some Spreewald steps (most prominently the "… should be visible") only worked, if the application under test used jQuery. This is no longer necessary.

Please don't re-introduce jQuery for new steps.

RubyGems can't find bundle executable although Bundler is installed

I had this error:

> gem install bundler
Successfully installed bundler-2.0.1
1 gem installed

> bundle install
Traceback (most recent call last):
	2: from /home/henning/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/bin/bundle:23:in `<main>'
	1: from /home/henning/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/rubygems.rb:308:in `activate_bin_path'
/home/henning/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/rubygems.rb:289:in `find_spec_for_exe': can't find gem bundler (>= 0.a) with executable bundle (Gem::GemNotFoundException)

The cause was that Bundler 2 requires RubyG…

Repeats

ActiveRecord scopes must be loaded before using RSpec's "=~" matcher

To test whether two arrays have the same elements regardless of order, RSpec gives you the =~ matcher:

actual_array.should =~ expected_array

If either side is an ActiveRecord scope rather than an array, you should call to_a on it first, since =~ does not play nice with scopes:

actual_scope.to_a.should =~ expected_scope.to_a
Linked content

Test your application's e-mail spam scoring with mail-tester.com

You can use mail-tester.com to check your application's e-mails for issues that might cause e-mails to be classified as spam.

They provide a one-time e-mail addresses that you can use to sign up etc. You can then check for scoring results of SpamAssassin and other potential issues.
You don't need to hit 10/10. Something around 9/10 is perfectly fine.

Note:

  • For password-protected staging sites you will get an error for links that can not be resolved. This is fine, simply check production once available.

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! …
Linked contentRepeats

Custom error messages in RSpec or Cucumber steps

Sometimes you have a test expectation but actually want a better error message in case of a failure. Here is how to do that.

Background

Consider this test:

User.last.should be_present

In case of an error, it will fail with a not-so-helpful error message:

expected present? to return true, got false (Spec::Expectations::ExpectationNotMetError)

Solution

That can be fixed easily. RSpec expectations allow you to pass an error message like this:

User.last.should be_present, 'Could not find a user!'

Now your test will…

Repeats

How to emulate simple classes with plain JavaScript

If you want a class-like construct in JavaScript, you can use the module pattern below. The module pattern gives you basic class concepts like a constructor, private state, public methods.

Since the module pattern only uses basic JavaScript, your code will run in any browser. You don't need CoffeeScript or an ES6 transpiler like Babel.

A cosmetic benefit is that the module pattern works without the use of this or prototypes.

Example

Here is an example for a Ruby class that we want to translate into Javascript using the module patter…

Repeats

Summarizing heredoc in ruby and rails

This card tries to summarize by example the different uses of heredoc.

  • In Ruby << vs. <<- vs. <<~
  • In Rails strip_heredoc vs. squish

strip_heredoc should be used for a text, where you want to preserve newlines. (multi-line -> multi-line)

squish should be used for a text, where you want to squish newlines. (multi-line -> one-line)

Ruby

def foo
  bar = <<TEXT
line1
line2
line3
TEXT
  puts bar.inspect
end
foo => "line1\nline2\nline3\n"

```
def foo
bar = «TEXT
line1
line2
line3
TEXT
puts bar.in…

Repeats

How to overwrite and reset constants within Cucumber features

Note: Prefer to not configure your app using global constants. Prefer to set keys in Rails.configuration instead (in application.rb).


In order to save the original value of a constant, set the new value and restore the old value after a scenario was completed, you can use the following helper. It takes care of saving the old constant value, setting the new one without throwing warnings and resets the value with an After hook.

This module also enables you to introduce new global constants.
Since thes…

Upgrading Ruby from 1.8.7 to 2.3.5

Suggested Workflow

Set the ruby version in .ruby-version to 2.3.5, then perform these steps one by one, fixing errors as they occur:

1) Update gems as listed below, and bundle
2) Boot a Rails console
3) Run Specs with --backtrace option
4) Run Cucumber features (with Geordi's --debug option)
5) When all tests are green, look through your Gemfile and remove as many version constraints as possible

Gem updates

  • Replace ruby-debug with byebug or pry
  • Replace mysql with mysql2, '< 0.3'
  • Remove oniguruma
  • Remove…
Repeats

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

What collapsing margins are

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 (see this article for an illustration) . This is because no addition of both margins takes place but the maximu…

How to create a Basic Auth header value

When doing Basic Authentication, your browser will send an "Authorization" header. Its value is simply a Base64-encoded representation of "username:password" (like when you place credentials in the URL directly). Example for "user@example.com" with password "secret":

Authorization: Basic dXNlckBleGFtcGxlLmNvbTpzZWNyZXQ=

So, in Ruby, you can create such headers like so:

Base64.strict_encode64("#{username}:#{password}")

Note that when speaking to a REST API, you should be using libraries like RestClient or HTTParty which will wrap …

Ruby: Reading and writing CSVs

In ruby you can easily read and write CSVs with the standard CSV library class.

On top of this, you can use the gem smarter_csv for reading (not writing) CSVs in a more comfortable way:

  • Keep in mind, that the development of this gem is in an unknown state and the 2.0 release seems to happen never
  • The API will change completely for 2.0, so you might find a bunch of unrelated documentation for 1.2

Here is an example…

Repeats

Restarting all God tasks

To restart all tasks monitored by God, don't use god restart. This command is only meant to soft-restart a given process or group.

Instead you should:

god stop
god terminate
god start -c yourgodconfig.god
Deprecated

Live CSS / view reloading

Next time you have to do more than trivial CSS changes on a project, you probably want to have live CSS reloading, so every time you safe your css, the browser updates automatically. It's pretty easy to set up and will safe you a lot of time in the long run. It will also instantly reload changes to your html views.

Simply follow the instructions below, taken from blog.55minutes.com.

Install CSS live reload (only once per project)

  1. Add th…

Cucumber: How to find unused step definitions

Cucumber has an output format that prints step definitions only. You can use this to find unused ones:

  1. Temporarily add require_relative 'env' to the top of the first file in features/support. --dry-run makes Cucumber skip loading env.rb.
  2. Open a really wide terminal window.
  3. bundle exec cucumber --dry-run --format stepdefs | grep -B1 'NOT MATCHED' --no-group-separator | grep features/step_definitions

This will print all unused step definitions from your project – however, the result will include false positives. Step…

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