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Erector 0.6.0 Announcement

This release is the first major API change to Erector. It will definitely break existing code. Sorry about that, but we promise it'll be cleaner afterwards.

Quick Update Guide

  • Rename 'def render' to 'def content' in all your widgets

  • Change, assigns, output) to just

  • To render a widget from inside another widget, use

      widget MyWidget, :foo=>2


      widget => 2)
  • If you want your variables to have attr_readers, use 'needs'

  • If you want your widgets to be more self-documenting, use 'needs'

Major API changes

  • "new" and "to_s" have been changed to clarify the lifecycle of a widget, so "new" accepts permanent state ("assigns" variables) and "to_s" accepts temporary, rendering state (output stream, helpers, and prettyprinting). This lets you do things like make collections of widgets in once place in your code and render them in another place.

  • Renamed "render" to "content", which removes confusion/ambiguity with Rails' "render" method and concept, and also allows "render :partial" to be made to work (though we're not sure if that totally works yet).

  • To render a widget from outside code, the pattern is:

      w = =>, :title => "Nap Time")
      puts w.to_s(:helpers => some_rails_view)
  • To render a widget from inside another widget:

      def content
        # first way... pass class and assigns
        widget DateWidget, :when =>, :title => "Nap Time"
        # second way... pass instance
        widget =>, :title => "Nap Time")

    Using "widget" will improve performance over calling "raw foo.to_s" or whatever since it reuses the same output stream.

  • To declare variables -- and raise an exception when one is not provided:

      class JohnLennon < Erector::Widget
        needs :love
  • Formerly, every 'assigns' variable had an attr_reader defined for it. Now, only variables declared with 'needs' get attr_readers.

Other changes:

  • Removed Widget#to_s caching, which fixed indentation issues.

  • BUGFIX: Indentation level is now correctly propagated to nested widgets.

  • Erector's Rails support strategy has changed. The released version of Erector only supports the latest stable Rails version (currently 2.3.2). If you need support for earlier versions of Rails, there are separate Git branches for each one, but we will not be in the habit of keeping these up to date with the latest features and patches. If someone wants to do a merge to a prior Rails branch, Brian will be happy to help :-)