Painless Upgrade to Rails 2.0 «

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I spent a dead-easy 2.5 hours last night updating NearbyGamers to Rails 2.0. My svn commit message read (with links added here for convenience):

Updated to Rails 2.0.1
  • rm’d lib/slash_urls.rb: Rails switched from ; to / to separate actions
  • rm’d lib/resource_requirements.rb: now included in ActiveResources
  • rm’d app/helpers/tags_helper.rb and gamers_helper.rb that had old controller names and were unused anyways
  • app/controllers/gamers_controller.rb: documented and fixed raw post variable extraction
  • updated post_path linkers in many views, controllers, and tests
  • renamed discussion_anchor_post_path to anchor_discussion_post_path to match the new ordering for nested resource urls
  • fix tag sorting on tag index
  • move tags from /tags/Board+Games to /tags/Board_Games, as Rails fixed the bug that encoded ‘ ‘ as ‘+’ in non-get variable parts of the URL

The Details

The first two files I deleted were my patches to URL generation that Rails now includes. The next two helper files I never used, but had had old (singular noun) names.

The bit about documentation: the way to get at raw post variables changed, so I tweaked code and left myself a reminder of why I’m doing it (I had to look at the changelog, which means it wasn’t self-evident).

Nested resources (I have nested map.resources :discussions { |d| d.resources :posts }) changed from discussion_edit_post_url to edit_discussion_post_url, so there was a bunch of places to change that. The next change about anchor is me following this convention with my own convenience method.

Tag sorting on the index page was a bug that Snarky pointed out to me. When I made some performance tweaks to that page I forgot to keep sorting tags as they came out of the database. This arguably should’ve been a revision of its own as it’s unrelated to the upgrade, but it was an easy one-line bugfix so I let it in.

Last, I renamed the tag pages. The tag model’s to_param just returns and Rails would turn “Board Games” into “Board+Games”. It’s common but technically incorrect, as + only means space in encoded GET/POST variables. The proper encoding of “Board%20Games” was really noisy, so I took a page from Wikipedia’s pagebook and use underscores instead, like “Board_Games”. Was one line in the to_param and one line in the controller’s load_tag before_filter, a dozen lines of tweaking old tests, and seven lines of new tests. Eeeeeasy.

The Verdict

Tests, tests, tests. If I didn’t have a solid test suite, I’d be noticing bugs two months from now in the least-frequently-exercised bits of code. Not only would I not have remembered to test some of the functionality, I wouldn’t have remembered the corner cases — or maybe I’d just have gotten bored of clicking through pages over and over and ignored the corner cases.

None of these were hard fixes and none were frustrating. I’d probably have finished even sooner if I hadn’t also been poking lolcats and chatting with friends. And now I have a big list of shiny new Rails 2.0 features I can put to work in NearbyGamers.

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