Hotwiring Rails Newsletter - April 2022

This newsletter went out via email to the Hotwiring Rails subscriber list, but I know that not everyone wants another email cluttering up their inbox. For those folks, I’ll always publish the full content of the newletter here too, so you can get all the content with none of the emails.

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Table of contents

Articles and guides

Distributed Systems In Rails series by Nate Hopkins

This three part series is a super valuable and practical guide to thinking about and structuring distributed systems in Rails. Part one of the series is theoretical, parts two and three offer practical approaches to configuring Sidekiq and database connections properly in production.

Read the series on

The Problem That ViewComponent Solves For Me by Jason Swett

I’ve spent time exploring ViewComponent before, but I’ve always struggled to articulate exactly when I should reach for a component — my brain usually just defaults to helpers and then one day I wake up to a mess of helpers.

In this piece, Jason shares his thought process on why he reaches for ViewComponent in a way that helped me reason more clearly about my own code. No code examples in this one, just thoughts.

Read the article on

Hotwire Handbook Part 1 by Phil Reynolds

This article is a series of small, well-explained features implemented with Turbo Streams.

While the official documentation lags behind, these types of practical, code-heavy demos are the best way for new folks to get started.

Read the handbook on

Import Maps Under The Hood In Rails 7 by Paweł Dąbrowski

Like many of the new front-end tools released with Rails 7, importmap-rails is not very well documented. This article from Paweł is a thorough look at what import maps are, how they work, and how to use them in your Rails application.

Import maps are not right for every use case, but if you want to explore, this is a great starting starting point.

Read it on

Dynamically Re-use and Lazy-load Pages Using Hotwire

This article describes an interesting technique from the Avo team to re-use views across the application, with a healthy dose of Turbo Frames in the mix. The use case here is a bit niche, but the technique is neat.

Read the article on

New and interesting PRs and releases

The first Ruby 3.2 preview is out and the headline feature is WASM support. Smart and cool folks will undoubtedly find fun ways to use it, once they’ve had time to explore.

CableReady and StimulusReflex both got new pre-release versions, inching closer to major version bumps that have been in the works for many months. The highlight in both new pre-releases is shipping the package’s JavaScript along with the Ruby gem, making it much easier to use CableReady and StimulusReflex with importmap-rails.

In Turbo-land, a proposal to add a new Stream actions for adding and removing classes from elements has been open since late February — the PR addresses a big limitation of Turbo Streams. Given the philosophy of the project, I will be surprised if this proposal is accepted, but if it is it will be a nice upgrade.

More likely to be accepted is a PR adding support for preloading content with Turbo, improving on limitations of the native rel=prefetch behavior which can be tricky to use for dynamic content.

Finally, an important Turbo bug fix PR was opened, and hopefully will be merged soon. The bug fixed by this PR can be a blocker for migrating cleanly to Turbo, and the double turbo:load event firing can cause all sorts of hard to diagnose problems.

My recent writing

Toggling view layouts with Kredis, Turbo Frames, and Rails is a quick look at using the very fun Kredis gem to implement a common UX element.

User notifications with Rails, Noticed, and Hotwire offers a quick introduction to Noticed, and demonstrates using Noticed and Turbo Streams to build real-time in-app notifications with minimal effort. Stay tuned for another article demonstrating the same approach with CableReady soon.

Finally, if reading about non-Rails topics is your thing, I wrote a piece describing the process of writing and publishing my book on Gumroad and the results of the launch.

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