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Every Rails page has footnotes that link give request information and link back to your source via TextMate [extracted from Rails TextMate bundle project]

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Rails Footnotes
License: MIT
Version: 3.4.1

You can also read this README in pretty html at the GitHub project Wiki page


If you are developing in Rails you should know the plugin! It displays
footnotes in your application for easy debugging, such as sessions,
request parameters, cookies, filter chain, routes, queries, etc.

Even more, it contains links to open files directly in your editor including
your backtrace lines.


Install Rails Footnotes is very easy. If you are running on Rails 2.3 just run
the following:

   gem sources -a
   sudo gem install josevalim-rails-footnotes

In RAILS_ROOT/config/environments/development.rb (yes, you want it only in development):

  config.gem "josevalim-rails-footnotes",  :lib => "rails-footnotes", :source => ""

If you want it as plugin, just do:

   script/plugin install git://

If you are running on Rails 2.2 or Rails 2.1 you should do:

    cd myapp
    git clone git://
    cd vendor/plugins/rails-footnotes
    git checkout VERSION_NUMBER
    rm -rf ./.git

Where you should replace VERSION_NUMBER for "v3.3.2" for Rails 2.2 and "v3.2.2"
for Rails 2.1 (without the quotes).


If you are not using Textmate as text editor, in your environment.rb or
in an initializer do:

  if defined?(Footnotes)
    Footnotes::Filter.prefix = 'txmt://open?url=file://%s&line=%d&column=%d'

Where you are going to choose a prefix compatible with your text editor. The %s is
replaced by the name of the file, the first %d is replaced by the line number and
the second %d is replaced by the column. You can also enable this behaviour in other
editors following the steps in the link below:

By default, footnotes are appended at the end of the page with default stylesheet. If you want
to change their position, you can define a div with id "footnotes_holder" or define your own stylesheet
by turning footnotes stylesheet off:

  Footnotes::Filter.no_style = true

Another option is to allow multiple notes to be opened at the same time:

  Footnotes::Filter.multiple_notes = true

Finally, you can control which notes you want to show. The default are:

  Footnotes::Filter.notes = [:session, :cookies, :params, :filters, :routes, :env, :queries, :log, :general]

Creating your own notes

Create your notes to integrate with Footnotes is easy.

1. Create a Footnotes::Notes::YourExampleNote class

2. Implement the necessary methods (check abstract_note.rb file in lib/notes)

3. Append your example note in Footnotes::Filter.notes array (usually at the end of your environment file or in an initializer):

For example, to create a note that shows info about the user logged in your application you just have to do:

  module Footnotes
    module Notes
      class CurrentUserNote < AbstractNote
        # This method always receives a controller
        def initialize(controller)
          @current_user = controller.instance_variable_get("@current_user")

        # The name that will appear as legend in fieldsets
        def legend
          "Current user: #{}"

        # This Note is only valid if we actually found an user
        # If it's not valid, it won't be displayed
        def valid?

        # The fieldset content
        def content

Then put in your environment:

  Footnotes::Filter.notes += [:current_user]

Bugs and Feedback

If you discover any bugs, please send an e-mail to
If you just want to give some positive feedback or drop a line, that's fine too! =)

Copyright (c) 2009 José Valim

Version 2.0

Until version 2.0, this plugin was created and maintained by:

Duane Johnson (
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