Snippr - File based content management
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File based content management compatible with ruby 1.9


A snippr file is a piece of HTML or raw text to be included in a website. They are plain text files stored on the file system. Snippr files end with ".snip" and are read from the Snippr path.

Snippr path

You need to specify the path to the directory where your Snippr files are stored:

Snippr.path = File.join File.dirname(__FILE__), "..", "snippr"

When running on JRuby, you can also set the path via JVM properties. The property you need to specify is defined in Snippr::Path::JVMProperty. This allows system administrators to change the path without having to touch your application.

Loading a snippr

To load a snippr file, you can use the +load+ method, passing in the path to the snippr file as a String (including path separators):

Snippr.load "tariff/einheit"

or by using multiple Strings or Symbols:

Snippr.load :tariff, :einheit

Dynamic values

A snippr file may contain placeholders to be replaced with dynamic values. Placeholders are wrapped in curly braces.

<p>You're topup of {topup_amount} at {date_today} was successful.</p>

To replace both {topup_amount} and {date_today} with a dynamic value, you just pass in a Hash of placeholders and dynamic values when loading a snippr file.

Snippr.load :topup, :success, :topup_amount => number_to_currency(15), :date_today =>

The result will obviously be something like:

<p>You're topup of 15,00 &euro; at 2010-04-03 was successful.</p>

calling methods on passed variables

You can call methods on passed parameters. Calling this:

class Klazz
  def doit; "HELLO"; end
Snippr.load :snip :a_variable =>

on ...

<p>Snippr says: {a_variable.doit()}</p>

will yield:

<p>Snippr says: HELLO</p>

You can even pass parameters to the call. Those must be enclosed in double quotes ("):

class Klazz
  def doitagain(p); "HELLO #{p}"; end
Snippr.load :snip :a_variable =>

on ...

<p>Snippr says: {a_variable.doitagain("SNIPPR")}</p>

will yield:

<p>Snippr says: HELLO SNIPPR</p>

The last parameter can also be passed in in 'block' form:


Notice that you have to leave that last parameter out of the signature of the snippr call:


is equivalent to


Snippr will check (via #respond_to?) if the method is available on the receiver variable.
If that is not what you want and you want to force snippr to call the method on the receiver you can prepend a bang to the variable name (as of Snippr 0.15.8):


That would result in an NoMethodError. This can be very useful if you call a method on a proxy object with dynamic method generation that isn't so polite as to implement a meaningful respond_to? or respond_to_missing? (eg. The Draper::HelperProxy)

Defaulting an empty {snippet_variable}

You can use {variable|default_value} to default this snippet to a value, here it would result in default_value. This also works on method invocations.

Meta Infos

A snippet can not only hold content but also meta infos for this snippet.

Inspired by jekyll a snippet can host metadata that is accessable via the .meta method on a loaded snippet. `.meta' will return an empty hash when no data was found.

Metadata must be placed at the top of the snippet or directly after the segment filter and is delimited with three dashed. The data itself is parsed as YAML:

a_yaml: hash  
normal snippet content comes here until the end of the file

Or with Segmentfilter:

a_yaml: old
old snippet content comes here until before segment filter
==== valid_from: 2013-05-17 13:15:00 ====
a_yaml: new
new snippet content after segment filter

You call also include other front matter blocks from another snippet with the magic _include YAML construct.
If you have a snippet a/path/snippet.snip:

  - path/from/root/to/snippet
  - ./relative/to/this/snippet

This would merge the metadata from path/from/root/to/snippet.snip and a/path/relative/to/this/snippet.snip into the containing snippets metadata.
If there are duplicate keys the metadata in the main/base snippet is chosen.

This only works on the first level of yaml data.
Be aware that the _include key is removed from the metadata after including.

If the YAML contains two arrays to be merged, both will be ADDED:

  - a: 1


  - b: 2

will result in:

{key: [{"a" => 1, "b" => 2}]}

Including snippr files inside other files


A snippr file can include another snippr file:

This snippr file includes another {snip:filepath/of/snip} file

This will cause filepath/of/snip.snip to be included in place.

You can also include relative to the including snippet. A snippet in some/deep/path/deep.snip containing {snip:../../twoDown} will include some/twoDown.snip.
Also {snip:./further/we/go} would include some/deep/path/further/we/go.snip.

Note that it is not allowed to go outside of the designated Snippr.path: {snip:../../../etc/password} would then output <!-- missing snippr: ./etc/password --> wven if the file exists.

Dynamic values of the parent snip will be accessable inside the included snip file.

You can pass additional dynamic values when using {snip}. These will override any parent parameter.




Those will be available as {dyn_key1} and {dyn_key2} in filepath/of/snip.snip
Outer quotes and double quotes will be removed

Segments (as of Snippr 0.15.0)

A snippet file can contain multiple snippet "segments".
Those segment are delimited by a line containing only ==== somefilter: filtervalue ====.
Since there can be only one active content per snippet you must use segmentfilters to determine which segment of the enippet to use.

Currently there are the following filters:


valid_from: YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS :
Activates the following snippet section if the current date is greater than the timestamp passed as the filtervalue.

First segment
==== valid_from: 2013-05-17 13:15:00 ====
Second segement

Here the second segment would be the content on and after 2013-05-17 13:15:00.


valid_until: YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS :
Same as valid_from only the other way round


valid_between: YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS - YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM::SS :
Combines valid_from and valid_until segment filters


on_rails_env: production:
Shows the snippet only in the given environment(s).
Separate environments with a comma (eg. production,test,unstable)


on_host: thismachinehostname:
Shows the snippet segment only on a host with the name 'thismachinehostname'.
Multiple hostnames can be given, separated with commas.


Snippr comes with support for I18n, but up until further notice, you have to manually enable this behavior in your application.

Snippr.i18n = true

Afterwards Snippr uses the locale specified via I18n and automatically prepends the current locale prefixed with a "_" to your snippr files.

I18n.locale = :de
Snippr.load :shop # tries to load "shop_de.snip" relative to your Snippr path

I18n.locale = :en
Snippr.load :shop # tries to load "shop_en.snip" relative to your Snippr path

Wiki Syntax

Until now, only wiki links with text are supported by Snippr:


will be converted to:

<a href="">blaulabs</a>

Rails Helper

When using the Snippr module with Rails, it automatically adds the +Snippr::Helper+ module to your views. You can then use the +snippr+ helper method to load snippr files.

%h1 Topup successful
  = snippr :topup, :success

Configuration via railtie

Starting in version 0.13.2 you can configure snippr without the use of initializers when using Rails:

Edit application.rb (or the environment specific files in config/environments) and add:

class Application < Rails::Application
  config.snippr.i18n = true
  # Add a Normalizer:
  config.snippr.normalizers =
  config.snippr.path = "my/path/to/snippets"
  # or even for defered configuration with a lambda:
  # config.snippr.path = lambda { SomeClassThatsAvailableLater.path }

Bigger on the inside

Starting with 0.15.11 the gem supports rewinding and advancing time to display the state of a webpage on that moment.
This is especially useful when using valid_from or valid_totime based segment filters.

For that to work you need to configure the so called "snippr tardis" to be active.
Configuration is done via application.rb like so:

class Application < Rails::Application
  config.snippr.tardis_enabled = true # or false or a Proc

Then call the snippr_tardis helper in your view:

<%= snippr_tardis if Rails.env.development? %>

You will then see the tardis appear in the upper right corner after a server restart. Click on the tardis icon.

Now use one of the following and click "warp":

+1d : advance time one day
-4d : rewind time four days
-7h : rewind time 7 hours
+10m : advance ten minutes

You get the idea. Exterminate!