Ruby-on-rails – Rails /lib modules and

classmodulerubyruby-on-rails

I am writing a custom wrapper for open_flash_chart plugin. It's placed in /lib and load it as a module in ApplicationController.

However, I have some Class hierarchy or smth problem.

From any controller I can access open_flash_chart functions as OpenFlashChart, Line etc

However, in a class in a /lib module, it doesnt work!

Any ideas?

Best Solution

There are two ways that files get loaded in Rails:

  • It is registered in the autoload process, and you reference a constant that corresponds to the file name. For instance, if you have app/controllers/pages_controller.rb and reference PagesController, app/controllers/pages_controller.rb will automatically be loaded. This happens for a preset list of directories in the load path. This is a feature of Rails, and is not part of the normal Ruby load process.
  • Files are explicitly required. If a file is required, Ruby looks through the entire list of paths in your load paths, and find the first case where the file you required is in the load path. You can see the entire load path by inspecting $LOAD_PATH (an alias for $:).

Since lib is in your load path, you have two options: either name your files with the same names as the constants, so Rails will automatically pick them up when you reference the constant in question, or explicitly require the module.

I also notice that you might be confused about another thing. ApplicationController is not the root object in the system. Observe:

module MyModule
  def im_awesome
    puts "#{self} is so awesome"
  end
end

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  include MyModule
end

class AnotherClass
end

AnotherClass.new.im_awesome
# NoMethodError: undefined method `im_awesome' for #<AnotherClass:0x101208ad0>

You will need to include the module into whatever class you want to use it in.

class AnotherClass
  include MyModule
end

AnotherClass.new.im_awesome
# AnotherClass is so awesome

Of course, in order to be able to include the module in the first place, you'll need to have it available (using either of the techniques above).