A collection of useful Rails generator scripts.
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Nifty Generators

A collection of useful Rails generator scripts for scaffolding, layout files, authentication, and more.


gem install nifty-generators


Once you install the gem, the generators will be available to all Rails applications on your system. If you run script/generate without any additional arguments you should see the available generators listed.

To run the generator, go to your rails project directory and call it using the script/generate or script/destroy command.

script/generate nifty_scaffold Recipe name:string index new

Included Generators

  • nifty_layout: generates generic layout, stylesheet, and helper files.

  • nifty_scaffold: generates a controller and optional model/migration.

  • nifty_config: generates a config YAML file and loader.

  • nifty_authentication: generates user model with sign up and log in.

To view the README for each generator, run it with the help option.

script/generate nifty_layout --help

Rails 3

To use Nifty Generators with Rails 3 you will need to include it in your Gemfile.

gem "nifty-generators"

The generators use a colon as the separator instead of an underscore.

rails g nifty:layout

The Rails 3 support is still in early development, please report any issues you find.

Troubleshooting and FAQs

What is the difference between nifty_scaffold and built-in scaffold?

One of the primary differences is that nifty_scaffold allows you to choose which controller actions to generate.

script/generate nifty_scaffold post name:string index new edit

There are a few changes to the generated code as well, such as no XML format by default.

It also offers support for HAML, Shoulda, and RSpec.

I get “undefined method 'title'” error.

Try running nifty_layout, that will generate this helper method. Or you can just change the templates to whatever approach you prefer for setting the title.

I can't set new attributes in my model.

Add the attribute to the attr_accessible line in the model.

I get “undefined method 'root_url'” error.

Some generators default redirecting to the root_url. Set this in your routes.rb file like this (substituting your controller name).

map.root :controller => 'foo'

I get a missing database error.

Run rake db:migrate.

I get a routing error when I try to submit a form.

Try restarting your development server. Sometimes it doesn't detect the change in the routing.

The tests/specs don't work.

Make sure you have mocha installed and require it in your spec/test helper.

gem install mocha

# in spec_helper.rb
config.mock_with :mocha

# in test_helper.rb
require 'mocha'

Also, make sure you're using Rails 2.1 or greater.

Found a bug?

If you are having a problem with Nifty Generators, first look at the FAQs above. If you still cannot resolve it, please submit an issue here.