Nested resources in Ruby on Rails: why bother?

Nested resources in Ruby on Rails are sort of neat, but they are a pain to implement. What’s more, I have to ask myself, why bother?

If a resource has a unique identifier id, then why would you need to call its parent resource to call it? The unique identifier is enough. And what resource doesn’t have a unique id these days?

Ruby on Rails Calendar Helper doesn’t quite work for me

Geoffrey Grosenbach’s Ruby on Rails plugin calendar_helper is simple and easy to use. Maybe I’m just picky, but one part of it just wasn’t working right for me.

Originally, it looks like this on line 96:

cal << %(<caption class="#{options[:month_name_class]}"></caption><thead><tr><th colspan="7">#{Date::MONTHNAMES[options[:month]]}</th></tr><tr class="#{options[:day_name_class]}">)

It doesn’t really make sense for the month name to be in a TH tag and the caption to be empty. So, I put the month name in the caption and eliminated the extra table row. In the end I changed it to this:

    cal << %(<caption class="#{options[:month_name_class]}">#{Date::MONTHNAMES[options[:month]]}</caption><thead><tr>)

This works well for me. If I knew anything about how to contribute to an open source project, I might propose a patch.

Getting a remote form to submit within a partial collection when any select changes in Ruby on Rails

This one is harder than it seems. But, I figured out a way. The trick and breakthrough came from Teflon Ted.

With a regular form, you could do this in your select statement:


This won’t work with a remote form, because the submission is not handled with the submit method but rather within the JavaScript callback in onsubmit. So, with a remote form, you have to change it to this:


So, here is my code.

<%- remote_form_for
  :url=>{:action=>'update_remote', :id=>},
  :loading=>"'spinner_""'); Form.disable('form_""')"
  do |f|

  Project.find(:all).collect{|p| [,]},
  {:include_blank=>false, :selected=>user.project_id},
  {:onChange=>"this.form.onsubmit();", :id=>'user_project_id_'}

<%- end -%>

Note that this is in a partial that gets iterated over a collection. So, I have to give everything a unique id in the HTML. Also, note that this includes the user of a spinner to show activity is taking place. I also like to disable the form temporarily to make sure nothing else gets selected. I don’t have to hide the spinner or reactivate the form because when the table row gets regenerated via RJS, it goes back to the default condition.

In_place_editor with a collection in a partial in Ruby on Rails

It seems like it would take a lot of work to get the in_place_editor to work in a partial on a collection, but it does. (It took me a lot of time to figure this out, but maybe I’m just more than average dense.) The best post to-date on this is at we eat bricks.

Just add the usual in the controller (user_controller.rb):

in_place_edit_for :user, :name

And, of course, the method:

def edit
  @users = User.find(:all)

Then, in the main view (edit.rhtml):

<%= render :partial=>'user', :collection=>@users %>

Then, in the partial (_users.rhtml):

<%= in_place_editor_field :model, :column %>

At first, this won’t work. You will get an error that says “Called id for nil, which would mistakenly be 4 — if you really wanted the id of nil, use object_id” on the line containing the “in_place_editor_field”.

It turns out this is a bug, and there is a workaround. Just add this at the top of your partial:

<%- @user = user -%>

I hope this helps someone save some time.

What to use for old permalink structure when implementing Dean’s Permalinks Migration Plugin for WordPress

If you want to move your WordPress permalinks via 301, you can try to do it by hand using rewrites in your .htaccess file. Much easier is Dean’s Permalinks Migration Plugin for WordPress.

On my work blog (, I used to use the default “?p=post-number” format, and I wanted to change to a more SEO-friendly format. I setup Dean’s plugin. The first problem is that I didn’t know what to put for the “old permalink structure”. I tried a million combinations of text, regex, and WordPress codes to try to get it to match the default format.

It turns out, according to this post, that the default permalinks never redirect and always work. So, the upshot is that I can’t redirect the default links and that I don’t really need Dean’s plugin at all. At least my new permalinks will be recorded in Google with the new format.