The BuenaVista Rails plugin makes your views nice :)
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BuenaVista Rails plugin

The BuenaVista plugin makes your views nice. :)

There are some things you want to do in your Rails templates which make them nicer for human consumption, but which are actually a bit tricky to do in practice. So it's very tempting to get lazy and just do the simple thing instead. However, if you really care about your user experience, you know that attention to detail matters.

In the BuenaVista plugin, we have collected a few reusable tools and helpers which make it easier to implement those details which make your application beautiful and delightful. See below for the things included.

To add BuenaVista to your Rails project:

$ ./script/plugin install git://

To use BuenaVista's view helpers, add the following to your ApplicationHelper (or other helper modules):

module ApplicationHelper
  include BuenaVista::ViewHelpers

Intelligent truncation

Sometimes we want to show the user the beginning of a chunk of text, and give them the option to expand the rest if they are interested. Fair enough. So we have to decide at what point we truncate the text. The obvious way of doing this is:

visible, hidden = text[0...VISIBLE_LENGTH] + '...', text[VISIBLE_LENGTH..-1]

...but of course that will truncate your text without any regard for the content. Don't you hate it when a website truncates text in the middle of a word? I think it's really ugly and it tells the user that we don't really care about them as a human being.

Enter BuenaVista::ViewHelpers#truncate_text, which does truncation nicely. It will prefer to break at the end of a sentence or paragraph, if possible; if there's no sentence boundary nearby, it tries other punctuation; if that's not convenient, at least it puts the split between two words. Only in very exceptional cases do we split a word part way through.

More to come

From time to time we will extract reusable bits from the Rapportive codebase and add them to this plugin.

Patches are welcome. Please fork the repository, make sure you add tests for your changes, and send us a GitHub pull request.

Who made this?

We are Rapportive, a San Francisco startup making email a better place. We currently have a browser extension for Gmail which provides information from social networks and business applications in a sidebar next to your conversations.

By the way, we are hiring -- and if you're the sort of person who likes to explore stuff on GitHub (as you are apparently doing), and you'd like to work with code like this, you're exactly the kind of person we'd like to talk to. So please get in touch!

Copyright (c) 2010 Rapportive, Inc. Released under the terms of the MIT license.