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Unpoly 0.61.0 released: Easier migration for jQuery apps

This release makes it easier to migrate to a recent version of Unpoly when your app still depends on jQuery. Unpoly dropped its jQuery dependency with version 0.60.0, but retains optional jQuery support through functions like up.$compiler() and up.$on(). All Unpoly functions that take a native element as an argument may also be called with a jQuery collection as an argument.

The following changes to the optional jQuery support were implemented:

  • In an ES6 build pipeline, …

An auto-mapper for ARIA labels and BEM classes in Cucumber selectors

Spreewald comes with a selector_for helper that matches an English term like the user's profile into a CSS selector. This is useful for steps that refer to a particular section of the page, like the following:

Then I should see "Bruce" within the user's profile

If you're too lazy to manually translate English to a CSS selector by adding a line to features/env/selectors.rb, we already have an [auto-mapper to translate English into …

Haml: Prevent whitespace from being stripped in production


This is not an issue in newer versions of HAML (starting with 5.0.0), as the ugly-option was removed so that in development everything is rendered ugly, too.


When HTML is rendered from HAML in production or staging environment, whitespace is removed to reduce the download size of the resulting pages. Therefore it might happen that whitespace you see in development is missing in production or staging.

Here is an example of two inlined bootstrap buttons in a t…


Thread-safe collections in Ruby

When using threads, you must make your code thread-safe. This can be done by either locking (mutexes) all data shared between threads, or by only using immutable data structures. Ruby core classes like String or Array are not immutable.

There's several gems providing thread-safe collection classes in Ruby.


The concurrent-ruby gem provides thread-safe versions of Array and Hash:

sa = # supports standard forms
sh = Conc…

Linked contentAuto-destruct in 35 days

Updated: Designing HTML emails

Added instructions on how to use Litmus.


Controlling how your website appears on social media feeds

When a user shares your content, a snippet with title, image, link and description appears in her timeline. By default social networks will use the window title, the first image, the current URL and some random text snippet for this purpose. This is often not what you want.

Luckily Facebook, Twitter, etc. lets you control how your content appears in the activity streams. They even have agreed on a common format to do this: OpenGraph <meta> tags that go into your HTML's <head>:

<meta property="og:url" content="http://start.makan...

Unpoly: Automatically show the full better_errors page when Rails raises an error

When an AJAX request raises an exception on the server, Rails will show a minimal error page with only basic information. Because all Unpoly updates work using AJAX requests, you won't get the more detailled better_errors page with the interactive REPL.

Below is an event listener that automatically repeats the request as a full-page load if your development error shows an error page. This means you get…


CSS: Don't target multiple vendor-prefixed pseudo-elements in a single rule

Some pseudo-elements need to be addressed with vendor prefixes. E.g. ::selection is not supported by Firefox, you need to use ::-moz-selection instead.

What you cannot do is to define a single CSS rule to address both the standard and vendor-prefixed form:

::selection, ::-moz-selection {
  background-color: red;

This rule will be ignored by all browsers. The reason is that if a browser doe…

Linked content

CSS font metrics in detail

Line-height and vertical-align are simple CSS properties. So simple that most of us are convinced to fully understand how they work and how to use them. But it’s not. They really are complex, maybe the hardest ones, as they have a major role in the creation of one of the less-known feature of CSS: inline formatting context.

For example, line-height can be set as a length or a unitless value 1, but the default is normal. OK, but what normal is? We often read that it is (or should be) 1, or maybe 1.2, even the CSS spec is unclear on that…

Linked content

How to inspect the HTML of an email in Thunderbird

Inspecting the source of an email does not always reveal the plain HTML source, but some encoded byte mess. In order to inspect the HTML anyways, you can use a little trick:

While composing a message, select all (Ctrl + A), then navigate to Insert > HTML on the message window.

If you need to inspect a received message, hit "Reply" to turn it into composition mode.


Jasmine: using async/await to write nice asynchronous specs

Jasmine has long standing support for writing asynchronous specs. In days gone by we used the done callback to achieve this, but these days it is possible to write much more readable specs.

Async specs

As a first example, say we want to check that some form disables the submit button while working.

// bad (how we used to do it)

beforeEach(() => {
this.form = setupMyForm()
this.submitButton = findTheSubmitButton()

it('disables the submit button while working', (done) => {
expect(this.submitButton.disabled).toBe(false) …

Adding Jasmine JavaScript specs to a Webpack(er) project

The goal is to get Jasmine specs running in a Rails project using Webpacker, with the browser based test runner. Should be easily adaptable to a pure Webpack setup.


Step 1: Install Jasmine

yarn add jasmine-core

Step 2: Add two separate packs

Since we do not want to mix Jasmine into our regular Javascript, we will create two additional packs. The first only contains Jasmine and the test runner. The second will contain our normal application code and the specs themselves.

We cannot…


ActiveType 1.2 supports "change_association"

With ActiveType 1.2 you can modify associations (has_many etc.) after they have been defined.

One common use case for this is to change an association inside a form model, like this:

class Credential < ActiveRecord::Base

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_many :credentials

class SignUpCredential < ActiveType::Record[Credential]

class SignUp < ActiveType::Record[User]
  change_association :credentials, class_name: 'SignUpCredential'

Now, if you load credentials, y…

Linked content Super-simple favicon generator

Eduardo Russo was tired of complex favicon creation and created his own favicon generator. It's really easy and allows a lot of image editing before rendering the favicons, in all needed sizes, formats and with the HTML needed to include them!

In Rails applications with Haml:

  • put all the favicon files into /public
  • store the HTML to app/views/layouts/_favicon.html
  • add = render 'layouts/favicon' to <head> in your application layout(s)

… and you're all…


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'>
  Try to match me.

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.

# Capyabara 1 or 2

How to recognize CVE-2019-5418

If you get requests with values for formats like this:

{:locale=>[:de], :formats=>["../../../../../../../../../../etc/services{{"], :variants=>[], :handlers=>[:erb, :builder, :raw, :ruby, :coffee, :haml]}

or fails like this:

Invalid query parameters: invalid %-encoding (../../../../../../../../../etc/passwd%%0000.html)

Someone tries to exploit CVE-2019-5418.
If you use the latest Rails (or latest Rails LTS) you're…


The many gotchas of Ruby class variables

TLDR: Ruby class variables (@@foo) are dangerous in many ways. You should avoid them at all cost. See bottom of this card for alternatives.

Class variables are shared between a class hierarchy

When you declare a class variable, it is shared between this and all descending (inheriting) classes. This is rarely what you want.

Class variables are bound at compile-time

Like unqualified constants, class variables are bound to your current scope *whe…

Fun with Ruby: Returning in blocks "overwrites" outside return values

In a nutshell: return statements inside blocks cause a method's return value to change. This is by design (and probably not even new to you, see below) – but can be a problem, for example for the capture method of Rails.

Consider these methods:

def stuff
  puts 'yielding...'
  puts 'yielded.'

We can call our stuff method with a block to yield. It works like t…

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