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What's New in FriendlyId 4?

Back to basics

FriendlyId is mostly a different codebase from FriendlyId 3. However, this isn't the "big rewrite," it's the "small rewrite:"

Adding new features with each release is not sustainable. This release removes features, but makes it possible to add them back as addons. We can also remove some complexity by relying on the better default functionality provided by newer versions of Active Support and Active Record.

Here's what's changed:

New configuration and setup

FriendlyId is no longer added to Active Record by default, you must explicitly add it to each model you want to use it in. The method and options have also changed:

# FriendlyId 3
class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_friendly_id :title, :use_slugs => true
end

# FriendlyId 4
class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  extend FriendlyId
  friendly_id :title, :use => :slugged
end

It also adds a new "defaults" method for configuring all models:

FriendlyId.defaults do |config|
  config.use :slugged, :reserved
  config.base = :name
end

Active Record 3+ only

For 2.3 support, you can use FriendlyId 3.x, which will continue to be maintained until people don't want it any more.

In-table slugs

FriendlyId no longer creates a separate slugs table - it just stores the generated slug value in the model table, which is simpler, faster and what most want by default. Keeping slug history in a separate table is an {FriendlyId::History optional add-on} for FriendlyId 4.

No more multiple finds

Person.find "joe-schmoe"               # Supported
Person.find ["joe-schmoe", "john-doe"] # No longer supported

If you want find by more than one friendly id, build your own query:

Person.where(:slug => ["joe-schmoe", "john-doe"])

This lets us do far less monkeypatching in Active Record. How much less? FriendlyId overrides the base find with a mere 2 lines of code, and otherwise changes nothing else. This means more stability and less breakage between Rails updates.

No more finder status

FriendlyId 3 offered finder statuses to help you determine when an outdated or non-friendly id was used to find the record, so that you could decide whether to permanently redirect to the canonical URL. However, there's a simpler way to do that, so this feature has been removed:

if request.path != person_path(@person)
  return redirect_to @person, :status => :moved_permanently
end

Bye-bye Babosa

Babosa is FriendlyId 3's slugging library.

FriendlyId 4 doesn't use it by default because the most important pieces of it were already accepted into Active Support 3.

However, Babosa is still useful, for example, for idiomatically transliterating Cyrillic (or other language) strings to ASCII. It's very easy to include - just override #normalize_friendly_id in your model:

class MyModel < ActiveRecord::Base
  ...

  def normalize_friendly_id(text)
    text.to_slug.normalize! :transliterations => :russian
  end
end
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