Testing with CSS selectors

If you have trouble wrapping your head around assert_tag and its options, you might want to give CSS selectors a chance instead. There are currently two plugins for handling that: assert_select and hpricot helper.

The hpricot style gives you something like assert element('title').should_contain('Funky Chicken Title') and the assert_select gives you something like assert_select "title", "Welcome".

From a brief cursory overview, I tend to like the assert_select style better. But I have yet to use either for real stuff. Please do shoot a comment with your experiences. One of these methods could well make it into core.

Composite primary keys for Active Record

Dr Nic Williams has charged one of the major strongholds of legacy database compatibility with Rails, composite primary keys support. By installing his nimble plugin, you get a very natural API for mapping those blasted composites using set_primary_keys and an array of keys.

It’s still a work in progress, but if you have to deal with a legacy database and want to use Rails, this might just be your ticket in.

Typo 4.0 released, with Rails App Installer

I’m only a week behind on the release of Typo 4. Typo is one of the oldest and most visible of Rails open source projects, so it’s always nice to see a new release. Out of all the new features and bug fixes, what really stood out for me was the Typo installer. Scott has recently extracted this into its own gem, ready for inclusion with your own Rails applications!

Typo now includes a .gem-based installer that makes it easy to install Typo. Just install the Typo gem (gem install typo) and run the Typo installer (typo install /some/path) to create a new Typo blog in /some/path. The installer will install all of Typo’s files, create a working set of config files, create a SQLite database for you, and start the Mongrel web server on a random TCP port. It’ll also create a set of sample Apache and Lighttpd configuration files to show you how to tie Typo into your existing web server. — Typo Installer

Rails Conference slides coming soon

Jay Zimmerman just wrote to say that next Wednesday, July 26th, the presentation media for RailsConf 2006 will go on sale to the general public. So if you didn’t get to the conference, you can pick up all the slides with synced audio for $100. Surf on over to the ScribeStudio site for more information. And remember, videos of the seven keynote presentations are being made available for free download too.

Scott Raymond on Refactoring to REST

Gonzo Rails developer Scott Raymond has written an analysis of how he refactored IconBuffet.com using RESTful routes. It’s the most cogent and compelling description of the benefits of a CRUDdy/RESTful design that I’ve seen. He reduced the number of actions in the application by 25%, and reduced the size of his routes file from 16 lines to 3. Isn’t small beautiful?

MenuTree helps you find food fast

MenuTree is a new Rails application that seeks to make the search for new take-out places a more enjoyable experience. They just launched, so do help fill up the options in your area.

New Enterprise Ruby Studio

Right on the heels of Martin Fowler writing up Enterprise Rails, the Pragmatic Studio has announced the addition of their latest studio, Enterprise Ruby, the first of which will be taught by Relevance LLC’s Stu Halloway and Justin Gehtland in Boston, September 11-13.

Some of the material they’ll be covering includes metaprogramming, domain specific languages, LDAP, XML, and web services. These topics and more will help use learn how to use the power and expressiveness of Ruby, and how to use it as your enterprise “glue.”

Those who attended Stu Halloway and Justin Gehtland’s talk at RailsConf on Rails internals already know how engaging they are as speakers. They are also currently working on the upcoming Rails for Java Programmers book.

Though not Rails specific, they do incorporate Rails in parts of the course and learning such things as LDAP and web services in Ruby is directly applicable to your Rails work.

Sign up by July 31st for a $200 early registration discount. You can register at http://pragmaticstudio.com/ruby.

David Heinemeier Hansson's RailsConf 2006 keynote now online

David’s RailsConf 2006 keynote, Discovering a World of Resources on Rails, is now online.

In this talk he announced the new ActiveResource project, for consuming REST web services and evangelized his new infatuation with regimenting his domain into simple CRUD operations.

You can get the slides and a slice of David’s point of view on all this, over at LoudThinking.

For those twitching at the flash video player, Ruby Central will be making the footage available in the future in an unflashy format.