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The Nifty Generators project is no longer maintained. Feel free to fork the project.

Nifty Generators

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


Rails 3

Add the gem to your Gemfile.

gem "nifty-generators", :group => :development

Then you can run any of the included generators.

rails g nifty:scaffold Recipe name:string index new

Rails 2

First install the gem.

gem install nifty-generators

The generators will be available in all Rails applications. 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

Note an underscore is used instead of a colon for the Rails 2 generators.

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.

rails g nifty:layout --help

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.

rails g 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).

root :to => "home#index"

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.

Project Status

Unfortunately I have not had time to actively work on this project recently. If you find a critical issue where it does not work as documented please ping me on Twitter and I'll take a look.

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.


If you want to contribute to this project, you can download the Git repository and get the Cucumber features running by calling bundle then rake. I normally develop this using Ruby 1.9.2 however it should work with 1.8.7 as well.

The Rails 3 generators are located under lib/generators and are tested with Cucumber. The older Rails 2 generators are under rails_generators and are tested with Shoulda under the test directory.