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Prependers

CircleCI

Prependers are a way to easily and cleanly extend third-party code via Module#prepend.

Installation

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'prependers'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install prependers

Usage

To define a prepender manually, simply include the Prependers::Prepender[] module. For instance, if you have installed an animals gem and you want to extend the Animals::Dog class, you can define a module like the following:

module Animals::Dog::AddBarking
  include Prependers::Prepender[]

  def bark
    puts 'Woof!'
  end
end

Animals::Dog.new.bark # => 'Woof!'

Extending class methods

If you want to extend a module's class methods, you can define a ClassMethods module in your prepender:

module Animals::Dog::AddFamily
  include Prependers::Prepender[]

  module ClassMethods
    def family
      puts 'Canids'
    end
  end
end

Animals::Dog.family # => 'Canids'

As you can see, the ClassMethods module has automagically been prepended to Animals::Dog's singleton class.

Using a namespace

It can be useful to have a prefix namespace for your prependers. That way, you don't have to worry about accidentally overriding any vendor modules. This is actually the recommended way to define your prependers.

You can accomplish this by passing the :namespace option when including Prependers::Prepender:

module MyApp
  module Animals
    module Dog
      module AddBarking
        include Prependers::Prepender[namespace: MyApp]

        def bark
          puts 'Woof!'
        end
      end
    end
  end
end

Verifying original sources

One issue you may run into when extending third-party code is that, when the original implementation is updated, it's not always obvious whether you have to update any of your extensions.

Prependers make this a bit easier with the concept of original source verification: you can compute a SHA1 hash of the original implementation, store it along with your prepender, and then verify it against the current hash when your application loads. If the original source changes, you get an error asking you to ensure your prepender is still relevant.

To use original source verification in your prependers, pass the :verify option:

module Animals::Dog::AddBarking
  include Prependers::Prepender[verify: nil]

  # ...
end

When you load your application now, you will get an error with instructions on how to set the proper hash:

Prependers::OutdatedPrependerError:
  You have not defined an original hash for Animals::Dog in Animals::Dog::AddBarking.

  You can define the hash by updating your include statement as follows:

      include Prependers::Prepender[verify: 'f7175533215c39f3f3328aa5829ac6b1bb168218']

At this point, you should update your prepender with the correct hash:

module Animals::Dog::AddBarking
  include Prependers::Prepender[verify: 'f7175533215c39f3f3328aa5829ac6b1bb168218']

  # ...
end

Now, when the underlying implementation of Animals::Dog changes because of a dependency update or other reasons, Prependers will raise an error such as the following:

Prependers::OutdatedPrependerError:
  The stored hash for Animals::Dog in Animals::Dog::AddBarking is
  f7175533215c39f3f3328aa5829ac6b1bb168218, but the current hash is
  2f05682e4f46b509c23a8418d9427a9eeaa8a79e instead.

  This most likely means that the original source has changed.

  Check that your prepender is still valid, then update the stored hash:

      include Prependers::Prepender[verify: '2f05682e4f46b509c23a8418d9427a9eeaa8a79e']

Original source verification also works when a module is defined in multiple locations.

NOTE: Due to limitations in Ruby's API, it is not possible to use source verification with modules that don't define any methods. Prependers will raise an error if you try to do this.

Autoloading prependers

If you don't want to include Prependers::Prepender[], you can also autoload prependers from a path, they will be loaded in alphabetical order.

Here's the previous example, but with autoloading:

# app/prependers/animals/dog/add_barking.rb
module Animals::Dog::AddBarking
  def bark
    puts 'Woof!'
  end
end

# somewhere in your initialization code
Prependers.load_paths(File.expand_path('app/prependers'))

Note that, in order for autoprepending to work, the paths of your prependers must match the names of the prependers you defined.

You can pass multiple arguments to #load_paths, which is useful if you have subdirectories in app/prependers:

Prependers.load_paths(
  File.expand_path('app/prependers/controllers'),
  File.expand_path('app/prependers/models'),
  # ...
)

You can pass the :namespace option to #load_paths to have it forwarded to all prependers:

Prependers.load_paths(
  File.expand_path('app/prependers/controllers'),
  File.expand_path('app/prependers/models'),
  namespace: Acme,
)

Integrating with Rails

To use prependers in your Rails app, simply create them under app/prependers/models, app/prependers/controllers etc. and add the following to your config/application.rb:

Prependers.setup_for_rails

#setup_for_rails accepts the same options as #load_paths.

Development

After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake spec to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to rubygems.org.

Contributing

Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at https://github.com/nebulab/prependers.

License

The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.

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