The Artima Developer Community
Sponsored Link

Ruby Buzz Forum
Cool Things With Ruby

0 replies on 1 page.

Welcome Guest
  Sign In

Go back to the topic listing  Back to Topic List Click to reply to this topic  Reply to this Topic Click to search messages in this forum  Search Forum Click for a threaded view of the topic  Threaded View   
Previous Topic   Next Topic
Flat View: This topic has 0 replies on 1 page
Guy Naor

Posts: 104
Nickname: familyguy
Registered: Mar, 2006

Guy Naor is one of the founders of and a long time developer
Cool Things With Ruby Posted: May 10, 2006 3:52 PM
Reply to this message Reply

This post originated from an RSS feed registered with Ruby Buzz by Guy Naor.
Original Post: Cool Things With Ruby
Feed Title: Famundo - The Dev Blog
Feed URL:
Feed Description: A blog describing the development and related technologies involved in creating - a family management sytem written using Ruby On Rails and postgres
Latest Ruby Buzz Posts
Latest Ruby Buzz Posts by Guy Naor
Latest Posts From Famundo - The Dev Blog


After getting over the learning curve (or we can call it the "suck" period) Ruby suddenly get you into the "WOW!" phase.

So to show some cool stuff you can do with Ruby that really has some wow factor, I collected a few small and pretty simple examples of code I'm using.

Ruby + Regular Expressions

Like Perl before it, Ruby has a very well integrated regular expression engine. And in addition it has code blocks that make some things just amazingly simple. In this example I had to parse a manually created sql file containing all the commands needed to create a database. I prefer to have it as a regular sql file so that I can run it through the psql processor when needed. It's also easier to read and understand this way. But the file is full of comments, white space and commands, and we need to clean that up so that we get a command by command we can execute. Each command can span multiple lines and always ends with a ;

Read the file, clean it and send it to the SQL executor:"#{RAILS_ROOT}db/family_files.sql") do |f|
# Remove anything followinf -- (sql  remark) and 
# replace all multiple whitespace with a single space
# Then scan for commands by looking for the ending ;*?\n\s*?)|(\s+)/m," ").scan(/\s+(.+?);/) do |res| 
    execute_sql res[0], sql_params 

The file also includes some replaceable parameters as needed by psql - those are of the format :param_name. And we need to replace then with the sql_params from the code above. As in psql, we replace those parameters only if they are passed in the sql_params hash. If they are not in the hash we leave them as is.

Parse the SQL Command and Replace the Params
def execute_sql( sql, params )
  # Replace palceholders with params.
  # We search for all items in the form :fm_space, :fm_location, etc...
  # And replace them with items in our params hash if they exist
  if params && !params.empty?
    while sql =~ /.+((:)(\w+?))(\s+.*|$)/
      val = params[$3.intern]
      sql.gsub!($1, val) if val
  # Execute the SQL command
  ActiveRecord::Base.connection.execute sql


method_unknown() is a big part of meta-programming in ruby as it allow an object to appear as having all sort of methods and attributes it doesn't really have. Rails does extensive use of method_unknown() for everything from reading model attributes to implementing all kind of find methods.

We have a model we divided into two to increase security. Some parts are writable by the users, and some only by the system. We use has_one for that, but now the model isn't as clean as before, as we have to access some of the attribute through the has_one model. To make it look as a seamless object, we used method_unknown() to fake the child object methods/attributes in the parent object.

Code to Access Child Attributes in the Parent
class Child
  attr_accessor :attr1, :attr2

class Parent
  attr_accessor :attr3, :attr2

  def initialize
    @child =

  def method_missing(method_id, *args, &block)
      @child.send method_id, *args, &block
    rescue Exception

irb> p =
irb> p.attr1 = 5
irb> p.attr1 #=> 5
irb> p.attr8 # Throws NoMethodError

Read: Cool Things With Ruby

Topic: Howto Make A Fixture Available in All Tests Previous Topic   Next Topic Topic: Ruby blocks performance

Sponsored Links


Copyright © 1996-2019 Artima, Inc. All Rights Reserved. - Privacy Policy - Terms of Use