Rails3 Assistant

Includes various helpers to assist operating on a Rails 3 application.


gem install rails3_assist

File Assistants

There are file assistants for the following Rails 3 artifacts:

  • locale
  • javascript
  • stylesheet
  • controller
  • helper
  • view
  • model
  • mailer
  • observer
  • permit
  • view

  • [name]_file

  • [name]_files

  • create_[name]_file

  • remove_[name]_file

  • remove_all__[name]s

  • remove_[name]s

Example usage:

remove_locales 'blip.en', 'blip.dk' 
create_stylesheet 'my_styles.css' do
  .mystyle {font: bold;}    
remove_stylesheet 'my_styles.css'   
locale_files 'permit.dk'
locale_files /permit/ do |files|
  # ...

view_files :person 
erb_view_files(:user).file_names.should include 'show.html.erb'

Directory Assistants

There are dir helpers for the following

  • app
  • config
  • db
  • public
  • lib
  • log
  • doc
  • test
  • spec

  • locale

  • initializer

  • javascript

  • stylesheet

  • controller

  • helper

  • view

  • model

  • mailer

  • observer

  • permit

  • view

Example usage:

    db_dir :root_path => MY_RAILS_ROOT
    rails_dir_for :migrations
    db_dir_for :migrations  
    config_dir_for :initializers, :root_path => MY_RAILS_ROOT
    app_dir_for :models

Special Rails mutators

  • insert_application_config
  • insert_before_application_init
  • insert_after_application_init

Special file helpers:

  • application_file
  • environment_file
  • seed_file

  • read_[special]_file

  • remove_[special]_file

  • append_to_[special]_file

  • replace_in_[special]_file :where => ... :with => ...

  • remove_from_[special]_file


remove_from_application_file /config.root = (\w+?)/ 
append_to_seed_file do
  Person.new :name => 'Mike'


Set the root if not already set, then use the special assist methods to include the modules with all the goodies! See the Assistants section below for more info on how to do this.

Rails root

You have to set the class variable Rails::Assist::Directory.rails_root to the location of your Rails root directory if you are using this gem outside of Rails, fx for testing purposes or something.

Note: If this variable is not set, it will assume it is used in a Rails app and therefore assume the root is Rails.root.

In the specs of this projct, I use the rails_root class variable to avoid having to set a Rails app specific variable, which I deemed unnecessary for most of the tests.


Generators are often designed to create Rails 3 artifacts or update existing artifacts. It's often useful to include one or more Rails 3 artifact assistants along with a generator assistant (see above).

This combination greatly facilitates your work in developing the generator, as much of the heavy lifting will be done for you in the assistants.

To use a specific assistant/helper, simply call:

assist_with [list of assistant symbols]


assist_with :controller, :model, :view, :permit

Aliases: use_helpers and use_helper

Available helpers:


  • controller
  • model
  • view
  • helper
  • observer
  • mailer
  • migration
  • permit


  • file
  • files
  • directory

Using Assistants

class MyGenerator < Rails::Generators:NamedBase
  extend Rails3::Assist::UseMacro

  use_orm :active_record
  use_helpers :file, :files, :controller, :observer, :migration

Assistant in RSpec

The assistants are preconfigured to be available within RSpec constructs.

describe 'My Controller' do
  use_helpers :directory, :files, :helper, :mailer

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.


Copyright (c) 2010 Kristian Mandrup. See LICENSE for details.