Sustainable Web Development with Ruby on Rails: Practical Tips for Building Web Applications that Last 0990702847, 9780990702849

Learn how to get the most out of Ruby on Rails without making a mess. Create Rails apps that can be sustained for years

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English Pages 470 [471] Year 2020

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Sustainable Web Development with Ruby on Rails: Practical Tips for Building Web Applications that Last
 0990702847, 9780990702849

Table of contents :
Why This Book Exists
What is Sustainability?
Why Care About Sustainability?
How to Value Sustainability
The Software Has a Clear Purpose
The Software Needs To Exist For Years
The Software Will Evolve
The Team Will Change
You Value Sustainability, Consistency, and Quality
Opportunity and Carrying Costs
Why should you trust me?
The Rails Application Architecture
Everything Else
The Pros and Cons of the Rails Application Architecture
Following Along in This Book
Typographic Conventions
Software Versions
Sample Code
Start Your App Off Right
Creating a Rails App
Using The Environment for Runtime Configuration
Configuring Local Development Environment with dotenv
Automating Application Setup with bin/setup
Running the Application Locally with bin/run
Putting Tests and Other Quality Checks in bin/ci
Improving Production Logging with lograge
Business Logic (Does Not Go in Active Records)
Business Logic Makes Your App Special…and Complex
Business Logic is a Magnet for Complexity
Business Logic Experiences Churn
Bugs in Commonly-Used Classes Have Wide Effects
Business Logic in Active Records Puts Churn and Complexity in Critical Classes
Example Design of a Feature
Deep Dive into Rails
Routes and URLs
Always Use Canonical Routes that Conform to Rails' Defaults
Never Configure Routes That Aren't Being Used
Vanity URLs Should Redirect to a Canonical Route
Don't Create Custom Actions, Create More Resources
Be Wary of Nested Routes
Create Sub-Resources Judiciously
Namespacing Might be an Architecture Smell
HTML Templates
Use Semantic HTML
Build Views by Applying Meaningful Tags to Content
Use and for Styling
Ideally, Expose One Instance Variable Per Action
Name the Instance Variable After the Resource
Reference Data or Authentication Details are an Exception
Think of Partials as Re-usable Components
Don't Use Layouts for Re-usable Components
Use Partials for Reusable Components Only
Use Locals to Pass Parameters to Partials
Just Use ERB
Don't Conflate Helpers with Your Domain
Helpers Are Best At Markup and Formatting
Wrapping Complex Partials
Small, Inline Components
Presenters, Decorators, and View Models Have Their Own Problems
Overview of the Presenter Pattern
Problems with Presenters
Taming Problems with Presenters
Use Rails' APIs to Generate Markup
Helpers Should Be Tested and Thus Testable
Adopt a Design System
Adopt a CSS Strategy
A CSS Framework
Object-Oriented CSS
Functional CSS
Create a Living Style Guide to Document Your Design System and CSS Strategy
Minimize JavaScript
How and Why JavaScript is a Serious Liability
You Cannot Control The Runtime Environment
JavaScript's Behavior is Difficult to Observe
The Ecosystem Values Highly-Decoupled Modules that Favor Progress over Stability
Embrace Server-Rendered Rails Views
Architecture of Rails Server-Rendered Views
Architecture of the JAM Stack
Server-Rendered Views by Default, JAM Stack Only When Needed
Tweak Turbolinks to Provide a Slightly Better Experience
Carefully Manage the JavaScript You Need
Embrace Plain JavaScript for Basic Interactions
Carefully Choose One Framework When You Need It
Unit Test As Much of Your JavaScript as You Can
Setting up Jest
Writing a Unit Test with jsdom
Adding Jest to bin/ci
Testing the View
Understand the Value and Cost of Tests
Use :rack_test for non-JavaScript User Flows
Test Against Default Markup and Content Initially
Cultivate Explicit Diagnostic Tools to Debug Test Failures
Fake The Back-end To Get System Tests Passing
Use data-testid Attributes to Combat Brittle Tests
Test JavaScript Interactions with a Real Browser
Setting Up Headless Chrome
Writing a Browser-driven System Test Case
Enhancing with_clues to Dump Browser Logs
Models, Part 1
Active Record is for Database Access
Creating Some Example Active Records
Model the Database With Active Record's DSL
Class Methods Should Be Used to Re-use Common Database Operations
Instance Methods Should Implement Domain Concepts Derivable Directly from the Database
Active Model is for Resource Modeling
The Database
Logical and Physical Data Models
Create a Logical Model to Build Consensus
Planning the Physical Model to Enforce Correctness
The Database Should Be Designed for Correctness
Use a SQL Schema
Planning the Physical Model
Creating Correct Migrations
Creating the Migration File and Helper Scripts
Iteratively Writing Migration Code to Create the Correct Schema
Writing Tests for Database Constraints
Business Logic Code is a Seam
Business Logic Code Must Reveal Behavior
Services are Stateless, Explicitly-Named Classes with Explicitly-Named Methods
A ThingDoer Class With a do_thing Method is Fine
Methods Receive Context and Data on Which to Operate, not Services to Delegate To
Return Rich Result Objects, not Booleans or Active Records
Implementation Patterns You Might Want to Avoid
Creating Class Methods Closes Doors
Using a Generic Method Name Like call Obscures Behavior
Dependency Injection also Obscures Behavior
Models, Part 2
Validations Don't Provide Data Integrity
Outside Code Naturally Skips Validations
Rails' Public API Allows Bypassing Validations
Some Validations Don't Technically Work
Validations Are Awesome For User Experience
How to (Barely) Use Callbacks
Normalizing Data In before_validation
Tracking Database Activity
Scopes are Often Business Logic and Belong Elsewhere
Model Testing Strategy
Active Record Tests Should Test Database Constraints
Tests For Complex Validations or Callbacks
Ensure Anyone Can Create Valid Instances of the Model using Factory Bot
End-to-End Example
Example Requirements
Building the UI First
Setting Up To Build the UI
Create Useful Seed Data for Development
Sketch the UI using Semantic Tags
Provide Basic Polish
Style the Form
Style Error States
Writing a System Test
Sketch Business Logic and Define the Seam
Fully Implement and Test Business Logic
Finished Implementation
Controller Code is Configuration
Don't Over-use Callbacks
Controllers Should Convert Parameters to Richer Types
Don't Over Test
Writing a Controller Test
Implementing a Basic Confidence-checking System
Avoiding Duplicative Tests
Use Jobs To Defer Execution or Increase Fault-Tolerance
Web Workers, Worker Pools, Memory, and Compute Power
Network Calls and Third Parties are Slow
Network Calls and Third Parties are Flaky
Use Background Jobs Only When Needed
Understand How Your Job Backend Works
Understand Where and How Jobs (and their Arguments) are Queued
Understand What Happens When a Job Fails
Observe the Behavior of Your Job Backend
Sidekiq is The Best Job Backend for Most Teams
Queue Jobs Directly, and Have Them Defer to Your Business Logic Code
Do Not Use Active Job - Use the Job Backend Directly
Job Code Should Defer to Your Service Layer
Job Testing Strategies
Jobs Will Get Retried and Must Be Idempotent
Other Boundary Classes
Mailers Should Just Format Emails
Mailers are Usually Jobs
Previewing, Styling, and Checking your Mail
Using Mailcatcher to Allow Emails to be Sent in Development
Rake Tasks
Rake Tasks Are For Automation
One Task Per File, Namespaces Match Directories
Rake Tasks Should Not Contain Business Logic
Mailboxes, Cables, and Active Storage
Action Mailbox
Action Cable
Active Storage
Beyond Rails
Authentication and Authorization
When in Doubt Use Devise or OmniAuth
Use OmniAuth to Authenticate Using a Third Party
Building Authentication Into your App with Devise
Authorization and Role-based Access Controls
Map Resources and Actions to Job Titles and Departments
Use Cancancan to Implement Role-Based Access
You Don't Have to Use All of Cancancan's Features
Test Access Controls In System Tests
API Endpoints
Be Clear About What—and Who—Your API is For
Write APIs the Same Way You Write Other Code
Use the Simplest Authentication System You Can
Use the Simplest Content Type You Can
Just Put The Version in the URL
Use .to_json to Create JSON
How Rails Renders JSON
Customizing JSON Serialization
Customize JSON in the Models Themselves
Always Use a Top Level Key
Test API Endpoints
Sustainable Process and Workflows
Use Continuous Integration To Deploy
What is CI?
CI Configuration Should be Explicit and Managed
CI Should be Based on bin/setup and bin/ci
Frequent Dependency Updates
Update Dependencies Early and Often
A Versioning Policy
Automate Dependency Updates
Leverage Generators and Templates over Documentation
RubyGems and Railties Can Distribute Configuration
Why Observability Matters
Monitor Business Outcomes
Logging is Powerful
Include a Request ID in All Logs
Log What Something is and Where it Came From
Use Thread Local Storage to Include User IDs
Manage Unhandled Exceptions
Measure Performance
Managing Secrets, Keys, and Passwords
Setting Up Docker for Local Development
Installing Docker
What is Docker?
Creating a Docker Image to Work In
Making Sure Everything Works
Running Rails
Connecting to Postgres
Monoliths, Microservices, and Shared Databases
Monoliths Get a Bad Rap
Microservices Are Not a Panacea.
Sharing a Database Is Viable
Technical Leadership is Critical
Leadership Is About Shared Values
Leaders Can be Held Accountable
Accountability Can be Implicit

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