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The showoff plugin gives you a simple way to throw arbitrary HTML mockups into your appliction. You can use static HTML, ERB, or any other templating language (such as HAML) that your application supports.

How do I install it?

script/plugin install git://
script/generate showoff

Are there any dependencies?

Yes, this plugin only works with Rails 2.3, thanks to the support for Rails Engines, which basically lets you embed a “mini app” inside of your main app.

How do I use it?

Just throw your mockups into app/views/mockups, then navigate to /mockups in your app. Just like any other Rails view, you can use partials, helpers, etc. If you want to use a layout other than your application default, tack it on as an additional file extension (example.html.erb.alternate).

Can I see an example?

Once you've run the generator, navigate to /mockups in your app to see some examples.

What's the point of this?

  • Avoid duplicating headers, footers, and other layout cruft by using the same layouts that the rest of your app uses.

  • By using the same CSS and JS files as the rest of your app, you avoid the pain of merging these things in later.

  • Use partials to keep your mockups more maintainable.

  • Because you have access to Ruby (as opposed to static HTML mockups), you can take advantage of looping to avoid duplication.

  • If you have a library such as Faker installed, you can use it to generate fake data and Lorum Ipsum text, rather than pasting it in.

  • Easily use your templating language of choice when building mockups (I use HAML).

  • Because your mockups can follow the same style and conventions as application code, showoff can drastically reduce the time it takes to wire up a mockup.

Copyright © 2009 Adam McCrea, released under the MIT license

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