A demo of how to build a basic blog using Ruby on Rails
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Let's Build: With Ruby on Rails - Blog with Comments

Let's Build: With Ruby on Rails - Blog with Comments

Read the full blog post and watch the screencast at Web-Crunch.com

Building a blog with comments using Ruby on Rails is a foundational exercise I went through to learn more about the framework. Working together, both Ruby and Rails lend us a hand to generate a fairly simple MVC pattern built on top of a CRUD approach when working with dynamic data.

Kicking things off with a blog

To easily demonstrate the principles of working with Ruby on Rails I chose to build a basic blog. Each blog post will be able to be created, read, edited, and deleted. There will also be comments associated with each individual blog post. Comments will be able to be created and deleted.

With Ruby on Rails, the possibilities are pretty endless in terms of what you can build. I'm sure new features and improvements to our blog are easy to spot as I guide you through the process of building it. My goal was to ease newcomers into the conventions, methods, and code patterns that helped me best when I first dove in. I hope you too can benefit.

Ultimately, the point of this tutorial and video is to help anyone new to the framework understand how it operates as well as the necessary conventions required to create a blog using Ruby on Rails. I touch on things such as routing, controllers, views, models, migrations, relations, and more. For this project, we make use of a few gems of which help make my life a bit easier as I build out applications. You can find out more about those below.

Gems used in the project

  • Better Errors - Easier on the eyes when it comes to errors.

  • Bulma - Most of the time I would roll my own CSS or just use bits of a framework. I'm a big fan of bulma so we will be using it a lot throughout this series.

  • Guard - This gem is useful for live reloading our scss, js, css, and erb files, although it's capable of much more! Guard is required for the Guard LiveReload gem to work

    Add the following within the development space in the Gemfile. Make sure to run bundle and restart your server (covered in the video).

    group :development do
      # Guard is a command line tool to easily handle events on file system modifications.
      gem 'guard', '~> 2.14', '>= 2.14.1'
  • Guard LiveReload - This gem depends on the Guard gem. I use this to automatically reload the browser when Guard senses changes within the code base.

    1. Download the livereload browser extension for your browser.
    2. Add the following within the development space of the Gemfile. Make sure to run bundle and restart your server.
    group :development do
      # reload the browser after changes to assets/helpers/tests 
      gem 'guard-livereload', '~> 2.5', '>= 2.5.2', require: false
    1. Run guard init livereload

    2. Be sure to comment out the following block in the `Guardfile if it gets generated for your project.

      # comment this whole block out as we won't be making use if minitest
      # guard :minitest do
      # ....
      # end
    3. Restart your server once more for good measure. Run:

      bundle exec guard

      to start the "watching" process within your project directory. We use bundle exec as a prefix here so guard has access to all of our dependences in the project. ​

    4. Make sure your browser extension is active when navigating to your app. If your console reads back something similar to the following, then you are in good shape.

      00:00:00 - INFO - LiveReload is waiting for a browser to connect.
      00:00:00 - INFO - Guard is now watching at '/path/to/your/project/'
      [1] guard(main)> 00:00:00 - INFO - Browser connected.
  • Simple Form - For simpler forms!

    Our final post form partial is as follows. Here I add bulma specific classes to get Simple Form to play nice with the CSS framework. If you use Simple Form with Bootstrap or Foundation you likely need even less markup than this.

    <div class="section">
    <%= simple_form_for @post do |f| %>
      <div class="field">
        <div class="control">
          <%= f.input :title, input_html: { class: 'input' }, wrapper: false, label_html: { class: 'label' } %>
      <div class="field">
        <div class="control">
          <%= f.input :content, input_html: { class: 'textarea' }, wrapper: false, label_html: { class: 'label' }  %>
      <%= f.button :submit, 'Create new post', class: "button is-primary" %>
    <% end %>

Continue reading at Web-Crunch.com