Rails Client - Build Activity Feeds & Streams with GetStream.io
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Prevent double #activity_notify calls
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README.md

Stream Rails

image Gem Version

stream-rails is a Ruby on Rails client for Stream.

You can sign up for a Stream account at https://getstream.io/get_started.

Note there is also a lower level Ruby - Stream integration library which is suitable for all Ruby applications.

Activity Streams & Newsfeeds

What you can build:

  • Activity streams such as seen on Github
  • A twitter style newsfeed
  • A feed like instagram/ pinterest
  • Facebook style newsfeeds
  • A notification system

Demo

You can check out our example app built using this library on Github https://github.com/GetStream/Stream-Example-Rails

Table of Contents

Gem installation

You can install stream_rails as you would any other gem:

gem install stream_rails

or in your Gemfile:

gem 'stream_rails'

This library is tested against and fully supports the following Rails versions:

  • 3.x
  • 4.0
  • 4.2
  • 5.0
  • 5.2

Setup

Login with Github on getstream.io and get your api_key and api_secret from your app configuration (Dashboard screen).

Then you can add the StreamRails configuration in config/initializers/stream_rails.rb

require 'stream_rails'

StreamRails.configure do |config|
  config.api_key      = "YOUR API KEY"
  config.api_secret   = "YOUR API SECRET"
  config.timeout      = 30                  # Optional, defaults to 3
  config.location     = 'us-east'           # Optional, defaults to 'us-east'
  config.api_hostname = 'stream-io-api.com' # Optional, defaults to 'stream-io-api.com' 
  # If you use custom feed names, e.g.: timeline_flat, timeline_aggregated,
  # use this, otherwise omit:
  config.news_feeds = { flat: "timeline_flat", aggregated: "timeline_aggregated" }
  # Point to the notifications feed group providing the name, omit if you don't
  # have a notifications feed
  config.notification_feed = "notification"
end

Supported ORMs

ActiveRecord

The integration will look as follows:

class Pin < ActiveRecord::Base
  include StreamRails::Activity
  as_activity

  def activity_object
    self.item
  end
end

Sequel

Please, use Sequel ~4.

The integration will look as follows:

class Pin < Sequel::Model
  include StreamRails::Activity
  as_activity

  def activity_object
    self.item
  end
end

Model configuration

Include StreamRails::Activity and add as_activity to the model you want to integrate with your feeds.

class Pin < ActiveRecord::Base
  belongs_to :user
  belongs_to :item

  validates :item, presence: true
  validates :user, presence: true

  include StreamRails::Activity
  as_activity

  def activity_object
    self.item
  end

end

Everytime a Pin is created it will be stored in the feed of the user that created it. When a Pin instance is deleted, the feed will be removed as well.

Activity fields

ActiveRecord models are stored in your feeds as activities; Activities are objects that tell the story of a person performing an action on or with an object, in its simplest form, an activity consists of an actor, a verb, and an object. In order for this to happen your models need to implement this methods:

#activity_object the object of the activity (eg. an AR model instance) #activity_actor the actor performing the activity (defaults to self.user) #activity_verb the string representation of the verb (defaults to model class name)

Here's a more complete example of the Pin class:

class Pin < ActiveRecord::Base
  belongs_to :author
  belongs_to :item

  include StreamRails::Activity
  as_activity

  def activity_actor
    self.author
  end

  def activity_object
    self.item
  end

end

Activity extra data

Often you'll want to store more data than just the basic fields. You achieve this by implementing #activity_extra_data in your model.

class Pin < ActiveRecord::Base
  belongs_to :author
  belongs_to :item

  include StreamRails::Activity
  as_activity

  def activity_extra_data
    {'is_retweet' => self.is_retweet}
  end

  def activity_object
    self.item
  end

end

Activity creation

If you want to control when to create an activity you should implement the #activity_should_sync? method in your model.

class Pin < ActiveRecord::Base
  belongs_to :author
  belongs_to :item

  include StreamRails::Activity
  as_activity

  def activity_should_sync?
    self.published
  end

  def activity_object
    self.item
  end

end

This will create an activity only when self.published is true.

Feed manager

stream_rails comes with a Feed Manager class that helps with all common feed operations. You can get an instance of the manager with StreamRails.feed_manager.

feed = StreamRails.feed_manager.get_user_feed(current_user.id)

Feeds bundled with feed_manager

To get you started the manager has 4 feeds pre-configured. You can add more feeds if your application requires it. Feeds are divided into three categories.

User feed:

The user feed stores all activities for a user. Think of it as your personal Facebook page. You can easily get this feed from the manager.

feed = StreamRails.feed_manager.get_user_feed(current_user.id)
News feeds:

News feeds store activities from the people you follow. There is both a flat newsfeed (similar to twitter) and an aggregated newsfeed (like facebook).

feed = StreamRails.feed_manager.get_news_feeds(current_user.id)[:flat]
aggregated_feed = StreamRails.feed_manager.get_news_feeds(current_user.id)[:aggregated]
Notification feed:

The notification feed can be used to build notification functionality.

Notification feed

Below we show an example of how you can read the notification feed.

notification_feed = StreamRails.feed_manager.get_notification_feed(current_user.id)

By default the notification feed will be empty. You can specify which users to notify when your model gets created. In the case of a retweet you probably want to notify the user of the parent tweet.

class Pin < ActiveRecord::Base
  belongs_to :author
  belongs_to :item

  include StreamRails::Activity
  as_activity

  def activity_notify
    if self.is_retweet
      [StreamRails.feed_manager.get_notification_feed(self.parent.user_id)]
    end
  end

  def activity_object
    self.item
  end

end

Another example would be following a user. You would commonly want to notify the user which is being followed.

class Follow < ActiveRecord::Base
  belongs_to :user
  belongs_to :target

  validates :target_id, presence: true
  validates :user, presence: true

  include StreamRails::Activity
  as_activity

  def activity_notify
    [StreamRails.feed_manager.get_notification_feed(self.target_id)]
  end

  def activity_object
    self.target
  end

end

Follow a feed

In order to populate newsfeeds, you need to notify the system about follow relationships.

The current user's flat and aggregated feeds will follow the target_user's user feed, with the following code:

StreamRails.feed_manager.follow_user(user_id, target_id)

Showing the newsfeed

Activity enrichment

When you read data from feeds, a pin activity will look like this:

{"actor": "User:1", "verb": "like", "object": "Item:42"}

This is far from ready for usage in your template. We call the process of loading the references from the database enrichment. An example is shown below:

enricher = StreamRails::Enrich.new

feed = StreamRails.feed_manager.get_news_feeds(current_user.id)[:flat]
results = feed.get()['results']
activities = enricher.enrich_activities(results)

A similar method called enrich_aggregated_activities is available for aggregated feeds.

enricher = StreamRails::Enrich.new

feed = StreamRails.feed_manager.get_news_feeds(current_user.id)[:aggregated]
results = feed.get()['results']
activities = enricher.enrich_aggregated_activities(results)

If you have additional metadata in your activity (by overriding activity_extra_data in the class where you add the Stream Activity mixin), you can also enrich that field's data by doing the following:

Step One: override the activity_extra_data method from our mixin:

class Pin < ActiveRecord::Base
  include StreamRails::Activity
  as_activity

  attr_accessor :extra_data

  def activity_object
    self.item
  end

  # override this method to add metadata to your activity
  def activity_extra_data
    @extra_data
  end
end

Now we'll create a 'pin' object which has a location metadata field. In this example, we will also have a location table and model, and we set up our metadata in the extra_data field. It is important that the symbol of the metadata as well as the value of the meta data match this pattern. The left half of the string:string metadata value when split on : must also match the name of the model.

We must also tell the enricher to also fetch locations when looking through our activities

boulder = Location.new
boulder.name = "Boulder, CO"
boulder.save!

# tell the enricher to also do a lookup on the `location` model
enricher.add_fields([:location])

pin = Pin.new
pin.user = @tom
pin.extra_data = {:location => "location:#{boulder.id}"}

When we retrieve the activity later, the enrichment process will include our location model as well, giving us access to attributes and methods of the location model:

place = activity[:location].name
# Boulder, CO

Templating

Now that you've enriched the activities you can render them in a view. For convenience we include a basic view:

<div class="container">
    <div class="container-pins">
        <% for activity in @activities %>
            <%= render_activity activity %>
        <% end %>
    </div>
</div>

The render_activity view helper will render the activity by picking the partial activity/_pin for a pin activity, aggregated_activity/_follow for an aggregated activity with verb follow.

The helper will automatically send activity to the local scope of the partial; additional parameters can be send as well as use different layouts, and prefix the name

e.g. renders the activity partial using the small_activity layout:

<%= render_activity activity, :layout => "small_activity" %>

e.g. prefixes the name of the template with "notification_":

<%= render_activity activity, :prefix => "notification_" %>

e.g. adds the extra_var to the partial scope:

<%= render_activity activity, :locals => {:extra_var => 42} %>

e.g. renders the activity partial using the notifications partial root, which will render the partial with the path notifications/#{ACTIVITY_VERB}

<%= render_activity activity, :partial_root => "notifications" %>

Pagination

For simple pagination you can use the stream-ruby API, as follows in your controller:

  StreamRails.feed_manager.get_news_feeds(current_user.id)[:flat] # Returns a Stream::Feed object
  results = feed.get(limit: 5, offset: 5)['results']

Disable model tracking

You can disable model tracking (eg. when you run tests) via StreamRails.configure

require 'stream_rails'

StreamRails.enabled = false

Running specs

From the project root directory:

./bin/run_tests.sh

Full documentation and Low level APIs access

When needed you can also use the low level Ruby API directly. Documentation is available at the Stream website.

Copyright and License Information

Copyright (c) 2014-2017 Stream.io Inc, and individual contributors. All rights reserved.

See the file "LICENSE" for information on the history of this software, terms & conditions for usage, and a DISCLAIMER OF ALL WARRANTIES.