Skip to content


Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with HTTPS or Subversion.

Download ZIP
The spicy feature toggle framework for Rails
Ruby CSS JavaScript

Fetching latest commit…

Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time

Failed to load latest commit information.

Chili Build Status

Have you ever wanted to test out a new feature on only a subset of users? Did that implementation end up being lots of if/else statements embedded in the main code? If so, Chili can help.

Chili is built on top of Rails Engines and Deface and allows you to conditionally add new/modify existing views, while leaving the main code untouched.


First add chili to your app's Gemfile:

gem 'chili'

and run bundle.


Chili extensions are like mini apps that are created inside your main app's vendor directory using using the "chili" generator.

Creating a new chili extension

As an example, assuming you want to add a new extension named "social" that exposes a new feature in the form of a like-button to a subset of users, first within your main app run:

$ rails g chili social

This is basically a shortcut for running the rails plugin new engine generator with a custom template and will:

  1. Create a the directory vendor/chili/social_ext containing the basic structure for the extension
  2. Add a reference to the extension to the main app gemfile

Since the extension is mounted as a gem you'll have to run bundle after this to start using the extension.

Define who can see the extension

Use the active_if block to control whether new controllers/overrides are visible or not. The context of the active_if block is the application controller so you can use any methods available to that.

# lib/social_ext.rb
module SocialExt
  extend Chili::Activatable
  active_if { logged_in? && current_user.admin? } # Extension is only visible to logged in admin users

Modifying view templates in main app

Chili uses deface to modify existing view templates (see deface docs for details) Add overrides to the app/overides directory mirroring the path of the view you want to modify. For example, assuming the main app has the partial app/views/posts/_post.html.erb:

<% # app/overrides/posts/_post/like_button.html.erb.deface (folder should mirror main app view path) %>
<!-- insert_bottom 'tr' -->
<td><%= link_to 'Like!', social_ext.likes_path(like: {post_id: post}), method: :post %></td>

Adding new resources

Go to the extension's directory and use rails g scaffold Like. The new resource will be namespaced to SocialExt::Like and automounted in the main app at /chili/social_ext/likes, but only accessible when active_if is true. All the rules for using isolated engine models apply.


Migrations are handled the same way as engines. Use the following commands after you've added a new migration to your extension:

$ rake social_ext:migrations:install
$ rake db:migrate

Modifying existing models

Create a model with the same name as the one you want to modify by running: rails g model User --migration=false inside your extension's directory and edit it to inherit from the original:

# app/models/social_ext/user.rb
module SocialExt
  class User < ::User
    has_many :likes

Access in your overrides/extension views through the namespaced model:

<%= SocialExt::User.first.likes %>
<%= current_user.becomes(SocialExt::User).likes %>


Files added to the extension's app/assets/social_ext/javascripts|stylesheets directory are automatically injected into the layout using a pre-generated override:

<% # app/overrides/layouts/application/assets.html.erb.deface %>
<!-- insert_bottom 'head' -->
<%= stylesheet_link_tag 'social_ext/application' %>
<%= javascript_include_tag 'social_ext/application' %>

If you don't need any css/js in your extension, you can remove this file.


  • Chili will not be able to automount if you use a catch-all route in your main app (ie match '*a', to: 'errors#routing'), you will have to remove the catch-all or manually add the engine to the main app's routes file.
  • Just like normal engines, Chili requires you to prepend path helpers with main_app (ie main_app.root_path etc) in view templates that are shared with the main app (such as the main app's application layout file).
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.