We cannot express how excited we are with such great news. In our last blog post we were celebrating Rafael’s achievement and just a few months later we are celebrating again. Years ago, having three Plataformatec teammates as Rails Core members would be something we’d only dream of, but in 2012 it became reality. I must say that it didn’t happen by chance, not at all.
Carlos has always been an outstanding software developer and a great teammate. He is someone we all deeply trust to solve hard problems and deliver mission critical projects. We’ve always watched Carlos working really hard and we must say that he deserved every bit of such achievement. You can check out his contributions into many other open source projects at http://github.com/carlosantoniodasilva
Kudos to our friend @cantoniodasilva!!!
Last May we happily announced that Rafael França and Carlos Antonio earned commit access to the Ruby on Rails repository – it was a great accomplishment that deserved its own blog post. Today, we have some great news and we want to share with our readers. Just a few days ago, our team mate Rafael França (@rafaelfranca) received an invitation to join the Rails Core Team. And, of course, he accepted!
Rafael contributed to different features coming up in the next Rails 4 release and worked extensively with other Rails contributors to smash bugs and provide many improvements to the framework. I am personally happy to have a friend joining me in the Rails Core Team.
Furthermore, Rafael França’s contributions go beyond Rails. Lately he has also contributed to many other open source projects, like Mongoid, Janky and Dalli besides Plataformatec’s own projects like Devise, Simple Form and Elixir.
From all your friends at Plataformatec.
Nos dias 30 e 31 de Agosto de 2012, aconteceu o maior evento de Ruby da América Latina: a RubyConf Brasil, e a Plataformatec marcou presença com palestras e lightning talks. O evento foi um sucesso, com mais de 750 participantes durante a conferência, e mais de 500 pessoas assistindo o evento online através do site da Eventials.
Abaixo você pode ver os temas, com links para os slides e vídeos:
Vamos falar sobre Concorrência
Por José Valim. Confira o vídeo.
Escrevendo Aplicações Melhores com Active Model
Por Carlos Antonio. Confira o vídeo.
Conhecendo as Entranhas do Rails
Por Rafael França. Confira o vídeo.
Contribuindo para o Rails
Por Carlos Galdino.
Por Lucas Mazza.
Copyright, Licenças Open Source e você!
Por George Guimarães.
Sinta-se à vontade para ver e rever os slides e vídeos das palestras, e nos passar seu feedback através dos comentários. Não deixe também de conferir as outras palestras disponíveis, e se você escreveu um post sobre o evento em seu blog, adoraríamos ver um comentário com um link compartilhando seu post.
Gostaríamos também de agradecer e parabenizar o Fábio Akita e a Locaweb pela ótima organização e alta qualidade do evento, tudo funcionou perfeitamente para que todos pudessem aproveitar ao máximo a conferência.
E nos vemos na RubyConf Brasil 2013!
Nos próximos dias 30 e 31 de agosto, estaremos presentes na Ruby Conf Brasil com três palestrantes!
No dia 31, às 9h40, José Valim falará na Sala 1 sobre concorrência e sobre o papel e a importância disso no desenvolvimento de aplicações.
Às 11h, na sala 2, Carlos Antonio falará sobre como usar Active Model para escrevermos aplicações melhores.
Por fim, às 11h50, na sala 1, Rafael França falará sobre as entranhas do Rails e as grandes novidades do Rails 4.
Não deixe também de votar em nossos Lightning Talks, que serão realizados no primeiro dia, a partir das 18h20:
- Contribuindo para o Rails, do Carlos Galdino
- I18nAlchemy, do Lucas Mazza
- Copyright, Licenças Open Source e você!, do George Guimarães
Nos vemos lá!
A couple weeks ago, Aaron Patterson (aka @tenderlove) wrote about getting rid of
config.threadsafe! on Rails 4. When discussing multi-process and multi-threaded servers in production, one important aspect of the discussion that came up in the blog post was code loading.
This blog post is about which code loading strategies exist in a Rails application, how they affect multi-process and multi-threaded servers, and how to build libraries that will behave well in both environments.
The most common form of loading code in Ruby is via requires.
Some libraries work great by simply using requires, but as they grow, some of them tend to rely on autoload techniques to avoid loading all up-front.
autoload is particularly important on Rails applications because it helps boot time to stay low in development and test environments, since we will load modules as we need them.
One of the strategies used by Rails and libraries is Ruby autoload:
module Foo autoload :Bar, "path/to/bar" end
Now, the first time
Foo::Bar is accessed, it will be automatically loaded. The issue with this approach is that it is not thread-safe, except for latest JRuby versions (since 1.7) and Ruby master (2.0).
This means that eager loading these modules on boot (i.e. loading it all up-front) is essential for multi-threaded production servers, otherwise it could lead to scenarios where your application tries to access a module that does not exist yet when it just booted.
In multi-process servers, we may or may not want to eager load them. For instance, if your web server uses fork to handle each request (like Unicorn, Passenger), loading them up-front will become more important as we move towards Ruby 2.0 which will provide copy-on-write semantics. In such cases, if we load
Foo::Bar on boot, we will have one copy of
Foo::Bar shared between all processes otherwise each process will end up loading its own copy of
Foo::Bar possibly leading to higher memory usage.
The downside of eager loading is that we may eventually load code that your application never uses, increasing memory usage. This not a problem if your server uses fork or threads, it is exactly what we want (share and load the most we can), but in case you server doesn’t (for example, Thin) nothing bad is going to happen.
Another strategy used to load code is the one provided by
ActiveSupport::Dependencies. In this mode, you don’t need to specify which module to load and its file, but instead Rails tracks a series of directories and tries to load missing constants based on it.
For instance, when you first access the constant
User, Rails tries to find it in many directories, including
app/models in your application. If a
user.rb exists in it, it is loaded.
This approach is not thread safe, so regardless of using Ruby master or JRuby for a threaded server, it needs to be eager loaded. For multi-process servers, the trade-offs are the same as in the previous section.
So, eager loading
In other words, if you are using Unicorn, Puma, Passenger or any JRuby server, you probably want to eager load. Geez, so it basically means that most of us probably do want to eager load.
Although Rails has been taking care of eager loading its frameworks (defined using Ruby autoload) and its application and engines (defined using Rails autoload), the Rails ecosystem has not taken care of eager loading its libraries. This blame is shared with Rails, which could have provided better mechanisms to do so.
In order to better understand the problem, let’s take a template engine like HAML as an example. If the template engine uses Ruby autoload and it is not eager loaded, one of these things will happen:
On multi-threaded servers, it won’t be thread-safe depending on the Ruby version, leading to crashes on the first requests;
On multi-process servers with fork, HAML will have to be loaded on every request, unnecessarily taking response time and memory on each process instance;
On multi-process servers without fork, it will be loaded when its needed the first time, without extra-hassle;
To avoid problems with 1) and 2), Rails 4 will provide tools and mechanisms to make it easier for libraries to eager load code.
First, Rails 4 will ship with a
config.eager_load option. Today, eager loading an application is coupled with the
config.cache_classes configuration. This means that every time we cache classes, we eager load the app. This is not necessarily the best configuration. For example, in the test environment, an application could benefit by lazily loading the application when running a single test file.
Second, Rails will include a
config.eager_load_namespaces option to allow libraries to register namespaces that Rails should eager load. For instance, for Rails 4, Simple Form will probably execute:
config.eager_load_namespaces << SimpleForm
Rails will invoke
eager_load! on all objects in the
config.eager_load_namespaces list whenever
config.eager_load is set to true. For Simple Form, eager loading will load inputs, form builder and others on boot, instead of loading when they are first used in production.
The idea of registering namespaces (and not blocks) is that a user should be able to remove a namespace from the list if it is causing problems or if they don’t really need to eager load it.
Rails engines and applications will be automatically added to
config.eager_load_namespaces. This is because engines and applications rely on the Rails autoload for everything inside the
app directory, which is not thread-safe and should always run on production.
As an extra, Rails will also provide a convenience module called
ActiveSupport::Autoload to make it easier to define which modules are auto and eager loaded. We’ll see how to use it next.
In order to make your libraries eager load ready, here is an easy recipe:
1) Don’t worry about
app. Everything in
app is automatically taken care by Rails applications and engines since they are always added to
2) If you only use
lib, you are good to go! This is the recommended for Rails applications and small libraries. However, if your library is considerably big, you may want to use Ruby autoload (next step) to avoid loading your library up-front on boot (which affects rake tasks, development, etc).
3) If you are using autoload in
lib, you need to eager load your code. In order to do that, you can use
ActiveSupport::Autoload to annotate which modules to eager load. For example, here is the
SimpleForm module before being eager load ready:
module SimpleForm autoload :Components, 'simple_form/components' autoload :ErrorNotification, 'simple_form/error_notification' autoload :FormBuilder, 'simple_form/form_builder' autoload :Helpers, 'simple_form/helpers' autoload :I18nCache, 'simple_form/i18n_cache' autoload :Inputs, 'simple_form/inputs' autoload :MapType, 'simple_form/map_type' autoload :Wrappers, 'simple_form/wrappers' end
And now eager load ready:
module SimpleForm extend ActiveSupport::Autoload # Helpers are modules that are included on inputs. # Usually we don't need to worry about eager loading # modules because we will usually eager load a class # that uses the module. autoload :Helpers # Wrappers are loaded on boot, it is part of Simple Form # configuration API, so no need to worry about them. autoload :Wrappers # We need to eager load these otherwise they will # be rendered the first time just when a form is # first rendered. eager_autoload do # Notice ActiveSupport::Autoload allows us to skip # the file name as it guesses it from the module. autoload :Components autoload :ErrorNotification autoload :FormBuilder autoload :I18nCache autoload :Inputs autoload :MapType end # ActiveSupport::Autoload automatically defines # an eager_load! method. In this case, we are # extending the method to also eager load the # inputs and components inside Simple Form. def self.eager_load! super SimpleForm::Inputs.eager_load! SimpleForm::Components.eager_load! end end
The comments above explain part of the decision process taken in choosing if a module should be eager loaded or not. To be clear, the question you should be asking is: “if I don’t eager load this module, when will it be autoloaded”? If the answer is: “during a request”, you have to eager load it.
This is the reason we don’t need to eager load something like
ActionController::Base. Because Rails already eager loads your models, controllers, etc and if you are actually using Action Controller, you will have a controller inheriting from
ActionController::Base which then forces it to be loaded on boot.
Similar reasoning applies to most of Active Model modules. There is no need to eager load
ActiveModel::Validations because if an application is using it, it will load a framework or a model that actually requires it on boot. You will find that this reasoning will probably apply to most modules in your library.
After defining your eager loads, all you need to do is to define a Railtie and include your eager load namespace in it:
module SimpleForm class Railtie < Rails::Railtie config.eager_load_namespaces << SimpleForm end end
Although Ruby is moving to a direction where autoload is threadsafe, which makes eager load not a requirement, improvements to the language, garbage collectors and web-servers make eager load a “nice to have” feature.
Today, it is very likely that you want to eager load the majority of your code when deploying applications to production. Although Rails has always been eager load friendly, the majority of the tools in the ecosystem are not. Rails 4 will change this panorama by not only giving flexible configuration options to app developers but also convenient abstraction for library developers.
The general recommendation is to use
require to load code inside the
lib directory if the project is small. Engines and applications do not need to worry about the
app directory, since it is automatically taken care by Rails.
The more complex libraries probably already use autoload in the
lib directory to avoid loading unnecessary amount of code in development. In such cases they need to provide custom
eager_load! instructions for productions environment, which can be done with the help of the recipe above and Rails modules.
This blog post ended up too long but the subject is important and should be considered with care by the authors who maintain the most used libraries out there. Cheers to them!
I’d like to start with a question: Have you ever seen code like this?
class User < ActiveRecord::Base end User.new.tap do |user| user.name = "John Doe" user.username = "john.doe" user.password = "john123" end
I have. But what few developers know is that many methods in Active Record already accept a block, so you don’t need to invoke
tap in the first place. And that’s all because Active Record loves blocks! Let’s go through some examples.
Using blocks with Active Record
When creating an Active Record object, either by using
create!, you can give a block straight to the method call instead of relying on
User.new do |user| user.name = "John Doe" user.username = "john.doe" user.password = "john123" end User.create do |user| user.name = "John Doe" user.username = "john.doe" user.password = "john123" end
And you can mix and match with hash initialization:
User.new(name: "John Doe") do |user| user.username = "john.doe" user.password = "john123" end
All these methods, when receiving a block,
yield the current object to the block so that you can do whatever you want with it. It’s basically the same effect as using
tap. And it all happens after the attributes hash have been assigned and other internal Active Record code has been run during the object initialization, except by the
That’s neat. That means we can stop using
tap in a few places now. But wait, there’s more.
Active Record associations also love blocks
We talked about using blocks when building an Active Record object using
create, but associations like
has_many also work with that, when calling
create on them:
class User < ActiveRecord::Base has_many :posts end class Post < ActiveRecord::Base belongs_to :user end # has_many user = User.first user.posts.build do |post| post.title = "Active Record <3 Blocks" post.body = "I can give tap a break! <3 <3 <3" end # belongs_to post = Post.first post.build_user do |user| user.name = "John Doe <3 blocks" user.username = "john.doe" user.password = "john123" end
That’s even better. That means we can stop using
tap in a few more places.
Wrapping up: Active Record <3 blocks
It is possible to avoid extra work, sometimes simple stuff such as using
tap with methods like
create, other times more complicated ones, by getting to know what the framework can give us for free.
There are other places inside Active Record that accept blocks, for instance
first_or_initialize and friends will execute the given block when the record is not found, to initialize the new one.
In short, next time you need a block when creating records using Active Record, take a minute to see if you can avoid using
tap by using an already existing feature. Remember: Active Record <3 blocks. And don’t do that with blocks only, the main idea here is that you can learn more about the framework, and let it do more work for you.
How about you, do you have any small trick in Ruby or Rails that makes your work easier? Take a minute to share it with others in the comments.