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Freezing Gems

What is a gem and why would you want to freeze it?

In Ruby, there are times when you want to access pieces of functionality that other people of written (3rd party libraries) and you normally have 2 options. You can install a plug in or install a gem. Normally the method you use is determined by which ever is made available by the author.

Gems are installed on the host machine and are pretty handy when you want to run things in the command line or else across lots of projects, but their downside is that if you use a gem in a Rails project there is no automatic publishing mechanism when you deploy your site. You will need to log onto the remote host machine and install the gem manually.

Plugins are specific to Rails and are similar to gems in that they are also 3rd party libraries. However they are associated with your Rails project as opposed to your machine so they will get posted to the server on a regular deploy.

Freezing a gem is the process of transforming a gem into a plug in. Essen…

Unit/Functional Testing RubyAMF

One of my current projects is using RubyAMF to communicate with Flash (http://rubyforge.org/projects/rubyamf/). On the whole this is really nice because it allows you to transfer Ruby objects directly to ActionScript ones (as opposed to translating the object into XML, sending the XML and then recreating the object in ActionScript).
However, Rails does not provide a built in transport mechanism for AMF, so we cannot run functional testing directly on the data call (as we could for an XML or HTML transport layer). This is a show stopper for a lot of people (Rails w/o Unit testing = a big mess of trouble when something goes wrong).
We can though serve both the HTML and the AMF formats depending on the request format. This means that we can test the object instantiation logic and make sure there are no errors in the controllers (though we cannot check the actual format of the data being served). In the controller, instead of rendering AMF alone, do the following respond_to do |format|

Rolify, Devise, Rspec and Capybara Webkit in Rails

So I was using Rolify, Devise, Rspec and Capybara Webkit in Rails and I ran into a problem with the Warden login_as helper when trying to do a feature spec with :js => true (if you didn't understand any of that, you are probably on the wrong blog).

Anyways, while the I was able to log in an admin, Rolify was not able to determine the roles. This is in spite of the fact that I added a role in Factory Girl.
FactoryGirl.define do factory :admin do email { Faker::Internet.email } password "password" password_confirmation "password" trait :administrator do after(:create) {|admin| admin.add_role(:administrator)} end end end This worked fine with js turned off, so why was it not working now?

So the answer had to do with the following line in rails_helper.rb

config.use_transactional_fixtures = true

So I believe what happened in Capybara webkit is that it runs in a different thread and while Warden's login_as worked fine in a regula…