New conditionally_cache Method for Fragment Caching

Posted by: on Oct 7, 2009 in Blog | Tags: , | No Comments

I just pushed a couple of updates to Banker. The boring one adds the missing “should_not” variants of the existing Shoulda macros.

The more interesting one is a conditionally_cache method for fragment caching. If you use pagination to split content across pages, this might be very useful for you. Pages 2 and later are rarely loaded, falling very quickly to the tiniest sliver of people that see page 1.

conditionally_cache adds a new first argument to the regular cache method. This argument is evaluated in a boolean context. When true, control is passed to the cache method as usual, performing fragment caching. When false, though, the block is captured and output as if the caching code were not there at all.

So instead of having no caching on your paginated results or wrapping your cache call in an ugly if statement, instead you can do this:

<% conditionally_cache params[:page].blank? || params[:page] == '1', 'page1' do %>
  ... usual HTML markup goes here ...
  ... this will be cached on page 1, but not elsewhere ...
<% end %>

Since pages 2+ are not cached, you need only expire the ‘page1’ fragment, and nothing else.

Rails Bug with render :text => proc in Tests

Posted by: on Oct 7, 2009 in Blog | Tags: , | No Comments

There is a bug in the current stable release of Rails, 2.3.4, when using render :text => proc { ... }. The Proc object is never called by the test framework, which limits what you can test. For example, the following two techniques will both fail:

  • Using assert_select or similar methods to check the content of the response.
  • Setting expectations with a mocking framework on methods that are called within the Proc body.

Lighthouse bug #2423 includes my reworked patch to fix this issue. A couple more people verifying the patch will help get it committed.

Xcode: iPhone Project Dependency on Mac OS X Project

Posted by: on Oct 1, 2009 in Blog | Tags: | One Comment

This week, while building an iPhone application for a client, I wanted to run a custom Mac OS X command-line utility during the build phase of the iPhone project. I set up the command-line utility as a dependent project of the iPhone project, but it won’t build, telling me:

target specifies product type ‘’, but there’s no such product type for the ‘iphonesimulator’ platform

There is no perfect solution to this problem, but here’s my workaround: rather than let Xcode build the dependent project for me, I simply added a call to xcodebuild as part of my custom script phase. As long as the input and output files for this phase are set up properly, the entire phase is skipped when the output file is up-to-date, and xcodebuild is pretty fast when the target binary is already built, too.

My final script phase looks like this:

(cd SubProject; xcodebuild -configuration Release)