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Organize and share your console hacks
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README.md

Organize and share your console hacks

Introduction

HackTree lets you organize and share your console hacks in a simple and efficient way.

Console hacks (or tricks) are handy methods you use in IRB console to do repetitive tasks. HackTree gives you the following opportunities:

  • Create hacks using a simple and uniform DSL.
  • Describe your hacks, much like you describe tasks in Rakefiles.
  • List available hacks with descriptions right in your console.
  • Share hacks with your teammates, reuse them in different projects.

Setup (Rails 3)

Add to your Gemfile:

gem "hack_tree"
#gem "hack_tree", :git => "git://github.com/dadooda/hack_tree.git"    # Edge version.

Install the gem:

$ bundle install

Generate essentials:

$ rails generate hack_tree

Usage

Start console:

$ rails console

List available hacks:

>> c

Request help on a hack:

>> c.hello?

Use a hack:

>> c.hello
Hello, world!

>> c.hello "Ruby"
Hello, Ruby!

Create a hack (create and edit lib/hacks/ping.rb):

HackTree.define do
  desc "Play ping-pong"
  hack :ping do
    puts "Pong!"
  end
end

Reload hacks:

>> c.hack_tree.reload

Use your hack:

>> c.ping
Pong!

That's it for the basics, read further for more detailed information.

Definition language

Overview

The definition language has just 3 statements: desc, group and hack.

To enter the definition language use the wrapper block:

HackTree.define do
  ...
end

NOTE: Inside the wrapper self is the object of type HackTree::Instance.

Defining hacks

To define a hack, use hack. To describe it, use desc.

HackTree.define do
  desc "Say hello to the world"
  hack :hello do
    puts "Hello, world!"
  end
end

Handling hack arguments

Hack arguments are block arguments in regular Ruby syntax.

HackTree.define do
  desc "Say hello to the world or to a specific person"
  hack :hello do |*args|
    puts "Hello, %s!" % (args[0] || "world")
  end

In Ruby 1.9 this form will also work:

HackTree.define do
  desc "Say hello to the world or to a specific person"
  hack :hello do |who = "world"|
    puts "Hello, #{who}!"
  end
end

Using full descriptions

Once your hack begins to take arguments it is recommended that you extend desc to a full block of text. Keep the heading line, add a few examples and possibly some other descriptive information.

HackTree.define do
  desc <<-EOT
    Say hello to the world or to a specific person

    Examples:

      >> c.hello
      Hello, world!

      >> c.hello "Ruby"
      Hello, Ruby!
  EOT
  hack :hello do |*args|
    puts "Hello, %s!" % (args[0] || "world")
  end
end

See it in console:

>> c
hello            # Say hello to the world or to a specific person

>> c.hello?
Say hello to the world or to a specific person

Examples:

  >> c.hello
  Hello, world!

  >> c.hello "Ruby"
  Hello, Ruby!

Defining groups

Groups act as namespaces and are used to encapsulate hacks and other groups. You can nest groups to any level.

HackTree.define do
  desc "DB management"
  group :db do
    desc "List tables in native format"
    hack :tables do
      ...
    end

    desc "Get `ActiveRecord::Base.connection`"
    hack :conn do
      ...
    end
  end
end

See it in console:

>> c
db/              # DB management
...

>> c.db
conn             # Get `ActiveRecord::Base.connection`
tables           # List tables in native format

Exiting from hacks, returning values

If the hack runs uninterrupted, it returns the result of its last statement.

>> HackTree.define do
  hack :five do
    5
  end
end

>> c.five
=> 5

To exit from a hack, use next. Unfortunately, you cannot use break or return, please keep that in mind.

HackTree.define do
  hack :hello do |*args|
    who = args[0] || "world"

    if who == "Java"
      puts "Goodbye, Java!"
      next false
    end

    puts "Hello, #{who}!"

    true
  end
end

In the above example, the hack should return false if the argument is "Java".

See it in console:

>> c.hello "Ruby"
Hello, Ruby!
=> true

>> c.hello "Java"
Goodbye, Java!
=> false

Handling external dependencies

In real life it's possible that your hack depends on particular gems, environment settings, etc.

Please follow these recommendations when dealing with dependencies:

  • Make sure your hack can be loaded regardless of dependencies. In other words, use dependencies inside the hack, not outside of it.
  • Use begin ... rescue to catch possible unmet dependencies. Upon an unmet dependency report about it and return a noticeable result, e.g. false.

Example:

HackTree.define do
  group :db do
    desc "Get `ActiveRecord::Base.connection`"
    hack :conn do
      begin
        ActiveRecord::Base.connection
      rescue
        puts "Error: ActiveRecord not found"
        false
      end
    end
  end
end

Defining classes and methods to be used in hacks

If your hack needs to use a custom method or class, it is recommended that you use a hierarchy of Ruby module namespaces matching your hack's name.

Example (lib/hacks/db/tables.rb):

HackTree.define do
  group :db do
    desc "List tables in native format"
    hack :tables do
      tables = Hacks::DB::Tables.get_tables
      tables.each do |table|
        puts table
      end
    end
  end
end

module Hacks
  module DB
    module Tables
      def self.get_tables
        # Some logic here.
        ["authors", "books"]
      end
    end
  end
end

Copyright

Copyright © 2012 Alex Fortuna.

Licensed under the MIT License.

Feedback

Send bug reports, suggestions and criticisms through project's page on GitHub.

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