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Merge pull request #11160 from wangjohn/documentation_for_railties_in…


Adding documentation to the Rails initialization guide.
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2 parents 6b745ec + e3b1597 commit 572f9b665a4004929d6e4ccb5137ccbefb49dd11 @vijaydev vijaydev committed Jun 28, 2013
Showing with 21 additions and 8 deletions.
  1. +21 −8 guides/source/
@@ -7,14 +7,17 @@ as of Rails 4. It is an extremely in-depth guide and recommended for advanced Ra
After reading this guide, you will know:
* How to use `rails server`.
+* The timeline of Rails' initialization sequence.
+* Where different files are required by the boot sequence.
+* How the Rails::Server interface is defined and used.
This guide goes through every method call that is
required to boot up the Ruby on Rails stack for a default Rails 4
application, explaining each part in detail along the way. For this
-guide, we will be focusing on what happens when you execute +rails
-server+ to boot your app.
+guide, we will be focusing on what happens when you execute `rails server`
+to boot your app.
NOTE: Paths in this guide are relative to Rails or a Rails application unless otherwise specified.
@@ -26,7 +29,7 @@ quickly.
-Now we finally boot and initialize the app. It all starts with your app's
+Let's start to boot and initialize the app. It all begins with your app's
`bin/rails` executable. A Rails application is usually started by running
`rails console` or `rails server`.
@@ -57,7 +60,8 @@ require 'bundler/setup' if File.exists?(ENV['BUNDLE_GEMFILE'])
In a standard Rails application, there's a `Gemfile` which declares all
dependencies of the application. `config/boot.rb` sets
`ENV['BUNDLE_GEMFILE']` to the location of this file. If the Gemfile
-exists, `bundler/setup` is then required.
+exists, then `bundler/setup` is required. The require is used by Bundler to
+configure the load path for your Gemfile's dependencies.
A standard Rails application depends on several gems, specifically:
@@ -251,9 +255,9 @@ set earlier) is required.
### `config/application`
-When `require APP_PATH` is executed, `config/application.rb` is loaded.
-This file exists in your app and it's free for you to change based
-on your needs.
+When `require APP_PATH` is executed, `config/application.rb` is loaded (recall
+that `APP_PATH` is defined in `bin/rails`). This file exists in your application
+and it's free for you to change based on your needs.
### `Rails::Server#start`
@@ -443,7 +447,9 @@ I18n and Rails configuration are all being defined here.
### Back to `config/environment.rb`
-When `config/application.rb` has finished loading Rails, and defined
+The rest of `config/application.rb` defines the configuration for the
+`Rails::Application` which will be used once the application is fully
+initialized. When `config/application.rb` has finished loading Rails and defined
the application namespace, we go back to `config/environment.rb`,
where the application is initialized. For example, if the application was called
`Blog`, here we would find `Blog::Application.initialize!`, which is
@@ -471,6 +477,13 @@ traverses all the class ancestors looking for an `initializers` method,
sorting them and running them. For example, the `Engine` class will make
all the engines available by providing the `initializers` method.
+The `Rails::Application` class, as defined in `railties/lib/rails/application.rb`
+defines `bootstrap`, `railtie`, and `finisher` initializers. The `bootstrap` initializers
+prepare the application (like initializing the logger) while the `finisher`
+initializers (like building the middleware stack) are run last. The `railtie`
+initializers are the initializers which have been defined on the `Rails::Application`
+itself and are run between the `bootstrap` and `finishers`.
After this is done we go back to `Rack::Server`
### Rack: lib/rack/server.rb

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