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Daniel Zajic Update
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@jnunemaker @Casilio @stevendaniels
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Out of the box several types of enabling are supported. They are checked in this order:

1. Boolean

All on or all off. Think top level things like :stats, :search, :logging, etc. Also, an easy way to release a new feature as once a feature is boolean enabled it is on for every situation.

flipper =
flipper[:stats].enable # turn on
flipper[:stats].disable # turn off
flipper[:stats].enabled? # check

2. Individual Actor

Turn feature on for individual thing. Think enable feature for someone to test or for a buddy. The only requirement for an individual actor is that it must respond to flipper_id.

flipper =

flipper[:stats].enable user
flipper[:stats].enabled? user # true

flipper[:stats].disable user
flipper[:stats].enabled? user # false

# you can enable anything, does not need to be user or person
flipper[:search].enable group
flipper[:search].enabled? group

# you can also use shortcut methods
flipper.enable_actor :search, user
flipper.disable_actor :search, user
flipper[:search].enable_actor user
flipper[:search].disable_actor user

The key is to make sure you do not enable two different types of objects for the same feature. Imagine that user has a flipper_id of 6 and group has a flipper_id of 6. Enabling search for user would automatically enable it for group, as they both have a flipper_id of 6.

The one exception to this rule is if you have globally unique flipper_ids, such as UUIDs. If your flipper_ids are unique globally in your entire system, enabling two different types should be safe. Another way around this is to prefix the flipper_id with the class name like this:

class User
  def flipper_id

class Group
  def flipper_id

3. Percentage of Actors

Turn this on for a percentage of actors (think user, member, account, group, whatever). Consistently on or off for this user as long as percentage increases. Think slow rollout of a new feature to a percentage of things.

flipper =

# returns a percentage of actors instance set to 10
percentage = flipper.actors(10)

# turn stats on for 10 percent of users in the system
flipper[:stats].enable percentage

# checks if actor's flipper_id is in the enabled percentage by hashing
# user.flipper_id.to_s to ensure enabled distribution is smooth
flipper[:stats].enabled? user

# you can also use shortcut methods
flipper.enable_percentage_of_actors :search, 10
flipper.disable_percentage_of_actors :search # sets to 0
flipper[:search].enable_percentage_of_actors 10
flipper[:search].disable_percentage_of_actors # sets to 0

4. Percentage of Time

Turn this on for a percentage of time. Think load testing new features behind the scenes and such.

flipper =

# get percentage of time instance set to 5
percentage = flipper.time(5)

# Register a feature called logging and turn it on for 5 percent of the time.
# This could be on during one request and off the next
# could even be on first time in request and off second time
flipper[:logging].enable percentage
flipper[:logging].enabled? # this will return true 5% of the time.

# you can also use shortcut methods
flipper.enable_percentage_of_time :search, 5 # registers a feature called "search" and enables it 5% of the time
flipper.disable_percentage_of_time :search # sets to 0
flipper[:search].enable_percentage_of_time 5
flipper[:search].disable_percentage_of_time # sets to 0

Timeness is not a good idea for enabling new features in the UI. Most of the time you want a feature on or off for a user, but there are definitely times when I have found percentage of time to be very useful.

5. Group

Turn on feature based on the return value of block. Super flexible way to turn on a feature for multiple things (users, people, accounts, etc.) as long as the thing returns true when passed to the block.

# this registers a group
Flipper.register(:admins) do |actor|
  actor.respond_to?(:admin?) && actor.admin?

flipper =

flipper[:stats].enable # This registers a stats feature and turns it on for admins (which is anything that returns true from the registered block).
flipper[:stats].disable # turn off the stats feature for admins

person = Person.find(params[:id])
flipper[:stats].enabled? person # check if enabled, returns true if person.admin? is true

# you can also use shortcut methods. This also registers a stats feature and turns it on for admins.
flipper.enable_group :stats, :admins
person = Person.find(params[:id])
flipper[:stats].enabled? person # same as above. check if enabled, returns true if person.admin? is true

flipper.disable_group :stats, :admins
flipper[:stats].enable_group :admins
flipper[:stats].disable_group :admins

Here's a quick explanation of the above code block:

Flipper.register(:admins) do |actor|
  actor.respond_to?(:admin?) && actor.admin?
  • The above first registers a group called admins which essentially saves a Proc to be called later. The actor is an instance of the Flipper::Types::Actor that wraps the thing being checked against and actor.thing is the original object being checked.
  • The above enables the stats feature to any object that returns true from the :admins proc.
person = Person.find(params[:id])
flipper[:stats].enabled? person # check if person is enabled, returns true if person.admin? is true

When the person object is passed to the enabled? method, it is then passed into the proc. If the proc returns true, the entire statement returns true and so flipper[:stats].enabled? person returns true. Whatever logic follows this conditional check is then executed.

There is no requirement that the thing yielded to the block be a user model or whatever. It can be anything you want, therefore it is a good idea to check that the thing passed into the group block actually responds to what you are trying to do in the register proc.

In your application code, you can do something like this now:

if flipper[:stats].enabled?(some_admin)
  # do thing...
  # do not do thing
You can’t perform that action at this time.