Skip to content

HTTPS clone URL

Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with
or
.
Download ZIP
Create encapsulated systems of objects and focus on their interactions
Ruby

README.md

Surrounded

Be in control of business logic.

Build Status Code Climate Coverage Status Gem Version

Surrounded is designed to help you better manage your business logic by keeping cohesive behaviors together. Bring objects together to implement your use cases and gain behavior only when necessary.

How to think about your objects

First, name the problem you're solving. Then, break down your problem into responsible roles.

Use your problem name as a class and extend it with Surrounded::Context

It might look like this:

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context

  role :boss
  role :employee
end

In your application, you'll initialize this class with objects to play the roles that you've defined, so you'll need to specify which role players will use which role.

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize :employee, :boss

  role :boss
  role :employee
end

Here, you've specified the order when initializing so you can use it like this:

user1 = User.find(1)
user2 = User.find(2)
context = Employment.new(user1, user2)

That ensures that user1 will become (and have all the features of) the employee and user2 will become (and have all the features of) the boss.

There are 2 things left to do:

  1. define behaviors for each role and
  2. define how you can trigger their actions

Currently initializing contexts does not require the use of keyword arguments, but it will in the future.

You should consider using explicit names when initialize now by using keyword_initialize:

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context

  keyword_initialize :employee, :boss
end

user1 = User.find(1)
user2 = User.find(2)
context = Employment.new(employee: user1, boss: user2)

This will allow you to prepare your accessing code to use keywords.

If you need to override the initializer with additional work, you have the ability to use a block to be evaluated in the context of the initialized object.

initialize :role1, :role2 do
  map_role(:role3, 'SomeRoleConstantName', initialize_the_object_to_play)
end

This block will be called after the default initialization is done.

Defining behaviors for roles

Behaviors for your roles are easily defined just like you define a method. Provide your role a block and define methods there.

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize :employee, :boss

  role :boss

  role :employee do
    def work_weekend
      if fed_up?
        quit
      else
        schedule_weekend_work
      end
    end

    def quit
      say("I'm sick of this place, #{boss.name}!")
      stomp
      throw_papers
      say("I quit!")
    end

    def schedule_weekend_work
      # ...
    end
  end
end

If any of your roles don't have special behaviors, like boss, you don't need to specify it. Your initialize setup will handle assiging who's who when this context is used.

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize :employee, :boss

  role :employee do
    #...
  end
end

Triggering interactions

You'll need to define way to trigger these behaviors to occur so that you can use them.

context = Employment.new(user1, user2)

context.plan_weekend_work

The method you need is defined as an instance method in your context, but before that method will work as expected you'll need to mark it as a trigger.

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize :employee, :boss

  def plan_weekend_work
    employee.work_weekend
  end
  trigger :plan_weekend_work

  role :employee do
    #...
  end
end

Trigger methods are different from regular instance methods in that they apply behaviors from the roles to the role players. A regular instance method just does what you define. But a trigger will make your role players come alive with their behaviors.

You may find that the code for your triggers is extremely simple and is merely creating a method to tell a role player what to do. If you find you have many methods like this:

  def plan_weekend_work
    employee.work_weekend
  end
  trigger :plan_weekend_work

You can shorten it to:

  trigger :plan_weekend_work do
    employee.work_weekend
  end

But it can be even simpler and follows the same pattern provided by Ruby's standard library Forwardable:

  # The first argument is the role to receive the messaged defined in the second argument.
  # The third argument is optional and if provided will be the name of the trigger method on your context instance.
  forward_trigger :employee, :work_weekend, :plan_weekend_work

  # Alternatively, you can use an API similar to that of the `delegate` method from Forwardable
  forwarding [:work_weekend] => :employee

The difference between forward_trigger and forwarding is that the first accepts an alternative method name for the context instance method. There's more on this below in the "Overview in code" section, or see lib/surrounded/context/forwarding.rb.

There's one last thing to make this work.

Getting your role players ready

You'll need to include Surrounded in the classes of objects which will be role players in your context.

It's as easy as:

class User
  include Surrounded

  # ...
end

This gives each of the objects the ability to understand its context and direct access to other objects in the context.

Why is this valuable?

By creating environments which encapsulate roles and all necessary behaviors, you will be better able to isolate the logic of your system. A user in your system doesn't have all possible behaviors defined in its class, it gains the behaviors only when they are necessary.

The objects that interact have their behaviors defined and available right where they are needed. Implementation is in proximity to necessity. The behaviors you need for each role player are highly cohesive and are coupled to their use rather than being coupled to the class of an object which might use them at some point.

Deeper Dive

Create encapsulated environments for your objects.

Typical initialization of an environment, or a Context in DCI, has a lot of code. For example:

class Employment

  attr_reader :employee, :boss
  private :employee, :boss
  def initialize(employee, boss)
    @employee = employee.extend(Employee)
    @boss = boss
  end

  module Employee
    # extra behavior here...
  end
end

This code allows the Employment class to create instances where it will have an employee and a boss role internally. These are set to attr_readers and are made private.

The employee is extended with behaviors defined in the Employee module, and in this case there's no extra stuff for the boss so it doesn't get extended with anything.

Most of the time you'll follow a pattern like this. Some objects will get extra behavior and some won't. The modules that you use to provide the behavior will match the names you use for the roles to which you assign objects.

By adding Surrounded::Context you can shortcut all this work.

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize(:employee, :boss)

  module Employee
    # extra behavior here...
  end
end

Surrounded gives you an initialize class method which does all the setup work for you.

Managing Roles

I don't want to use modules. Can't I use something like SimpleDelegator?

Well, it just so happens that you can. This code will work just fine:

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize(:employee, :boss)

  class Employee < SimpleDelegator
    # extra behavior here...
  end
end

Instead of extending the employee object, Surrounded will run Employee.new(employee) to create the wrapper for you. You'll need to include the Surrounded module in your wrapper, but we'll get to that.

But the syntax can be even simpler than that if you want.

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize(:employee, :boss)

  role :employee do
    # extra behavior here...
  end
end

By default, this code will create a module for you named Employee. If you want to use a wrapper, you can do this:

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize(:employee, :boss)

  wrap :employee do
    # extra behavior here...
  end
end

But if you're making changes and you decide to move from a module to a wrapper or from a wrapper to a module, you'll need to change that method call. Instead, you could just tell it which type of role to use:

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize(:employee, :boss)

  role :employee, :wrapper do
    # extra behavior here...
  end
end

The default available types are :module, :wrap or :wrapper, and :interface. We'll get to interface below. The :wrap and :wrapper types are the same and they'll both create classes which inherit from SimpleDelegator and include Surrounded for you.

These are minor little changes which highlight how simple it is to use Surrounded.

Well... I want to use Casting so I get the benefit of modules without extending objects. Can I do that?

Yup. The ability to use Casting is built-in. If the objects you provide to your context respond to cast_as then Surrounded will use that.

Ok. So is that it?

There's a lot more. Let's look at the individual objects and what they need for this to be valuable...

Objects' access to their environments

Add Surrounded to your objects to give them awareness of other objects.

class User
  include Surrounded
end

Now the User instances will be able to implicitly access objects in their environment.

Via method_missing those User instances can access a context object it stores in an internal collection.

Inside of the Employment context we saw above, the employee and boss objects are instances of User for this example.

Because the User class includes Surrounded, the instances of that class will be able to access other objects in the same context implicitly.

Let's make our context look like this:

class Employment
  # other stuff from above is still here...

  def plan_weekend_work
    employee.quit
  end

  role :employee do
    def quit
      say("I'm sick of this place, #{boss.name}!")
      stomp
      throw_papers
      say("I quit!")
    end
  end
end

What's happening in there is that when the plan_weekend_work method is called on the instance of Employment, the employee has the ability to refer to boss because it is in the same context, e.g. the same environment.

The behavior defined in the Employee module assumes that it may access other objects in it's local environment. The boss object, for example, is never explicitly passed in as an argument.

What Surrounded does for us is to make the relationship between objects and gives them the ability to access each other. Adding new or different roles to the context now only requires that we add them to the context and nothing else. No explicit references must be passed to each individual method. The objects are aware of the other objects around them and can refer to them by their role name.

I didn't mention how the context is set, however.

Tying objects together

Your context will have methods of it's own which will trigger actions on the objects inside, but we need those trigger methods to set the accessible context for each of the contained objects.

Here's an example of what we want:

class Employment
  # other stuff from above is still here...

  def plan_weekend_work
    employee.store_context(self)
    employee.quit
    employee.remove_context
  end

  role :employee do
    def quit
      say("I'm sick of this place, #{boss.name}!")
      stomp
      throw_papers
      say("I quit!")
    end
  end
end

Now that the employee has a reference to the context, it won't blow up when it hits boss inside that quit method.

We saw how we were able to clear up a lot of that repetitive work with the initialize method, so this is how we do it here:

class Employment
  # other stuff from above is still here...

  trigger :plan_weekend_work do
    employee.quit
  end

  role :employee do
    def quit
      say("I'm sick of this place, #{boss.name}!")
      stomp
      throw_papers
      say("I quit!")
    end
  end
end

By using this trigger keyword, our block is the code we care about, but internally the method is created to first set all the objects' current contexts.

The context will also store the triggers so that you can, for example, provide details outside of the environment about what triggers exist.

context = Employment.new(current_user, the_boss)
context.triggers #=> [:plan_weekend_work]

You might find that useful for dynamically defining user interfaces.

Sometimes I'd rather not use this DSL, however. I want to just write regular methods.

We can do that too. You'll need to opt in to this by specifying trigger :your_method_name for the methods you want to use.

class Employment
  # other stuff from above is still here...

  def plan_weekend_work
    employee.quit
  end
  trigger :plan_weekend_work

  # or in Ruby 2.x
  trigger def plan_weekend_work
    employee.quit
  end

  role :employee do
    def quit
      say("I'm sick of this place, #{boss.name}!")
      stomp
      throw_papers
      say("I quit!")
    end
  end
end

This will allow you to write methods like you normally would. They are aliased internally with a prefix and the method name that you use is rewritten to add and remove the context for the objects in this context. The public API of your class remains the same, but the extra feature of wrapping your method is handled for you.

This works like Ruby's public,protected, and private keywords in that you can send symbols of method names to it. But trigger does not alter the parsing of the document like those core keywords do. In other words, you can't merely type trigger on one line, and have methods added afterward be treated as trigger methods.

Access Control / Permissions for Triggers

If you decide to build a user interface from the available triggers, you'll find you need to know what triggers are available.

Fortunately, you can make it easy.

By running protect_triggers you'll be able to define when triggers may or may not be run. You can still run them, but they'll raise an error. Here's an example.

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context
  protect_triggers

  def plan_weekend_work
    employee.quit
  end
  trigger :plan_weekend_work

  disallow :plan_weekend_work do
    employee.bank_balance > 1000000
  end
end

Then, when the employee role's bank_balance is greater than 1000000, the available triggers won't include :plan_weekend_work.

You can compare the instance of the context by listing all_triggers and triggers to see what could be possible and what's currently possible.

Alternatively, if you just want to define your own methods without the DSL using disallow, you can just follow the pattern of disallow_#{method_name}? when creating your own protection.

In fact, that's exactly what happens with the disallow keyword. After using it here, we'd have a disallow_plan_weekend_work? method defined.

If you call the disallowed trigger directly, you'll raise an Employment::AccessError exception and the code in your trigger will not be run. You may rescue from that or you may rescue from Surrounded::Context::AccessError although you should prefer to use the error name from your own class.

Restricting return values

Tell, Don't Ask style programming can better be enforced by following East-oriented Code principles. This means that the return values from methods on your objects should not provide information about their internal state. Instead of returning values, you can enforce that triggers return the context object. This forces you to place context responsiblities inside the context and prevents leaking the details and responsiblities outside of the system.

Here's how you enforce it:

class Employment
  extend Surrounded::Context
  east_oriented_triggers
end

That's it.

With that change, any trigger you define will execute the block you provide and return self, being the instance of the context.

Where roles exist

By using Surrounded::Context you are declaring a relationship between the objects inside playing your defined roles.

Because all the behavior is defined internally and only relevant internally, those relationships don't exist outside of the environment.

Surrounded makes all of your role modules and classes private constants. It's not a good idea to try to reuse behavior defined for one context in another area.

The role DSL

Using the role method to define modules and classes takes care of the setup for you. This way you can swap between implementations:

  # this uses modules which include Surrounded
  role :source do
    def transfer
      self.balance -= amount
      destination.balance += amount
      self
    end
  end

  # this uses SimpleDelegator and Surrounded
  role :source, :wrap do
    def transfer
      self.balance -= amount
      destination.balance += amount
      __getobj__
    end
  end

  # this uses a special interface object which pulls
  # methods from a module and applies them to your object.
  role :source, :interface do
    def transfer
      self.balance -= amount
      # not able to access destination unless the object playing source is Surrounded
      destination.balance += amount
      self
    end
  end

The :interface option is a special object which has all of the standard Object methods removed (excepting ones like __send__ and object_id) so that other methods will be pulled from the ones that you define, or from the object it attempts to proxy.

Notice that the :interface allows you to return self whereas the :wrap acts more like a wrapper and forces you to deal with that shortcoming by using it's wrapped-object-accessor method: __getobj__.

The downside of using an interface is that it is still a wrapper and it only has access to the other objects in the context if the wrapped object already includes Surrounded. All of your defined role methods are executed in the context of the object playing the role, but the interface has it's own identity.

If you'd like to choose one and use it all the time, you can set the default:

class MoneyTransfer
  extend Surrounded::Context

  self.default_role_type = :interface # also :wrap, :wrapper, or :module

  role :source do
    def transfer
      self.balance -= amount
      destination.balance += amount
      self
    end
  end
end

Or, if you like, you can choose the default for your entire project:

Surrounded::Context.default_role_type = :interface

class MoneyTransfer
  extend Surrounded::Context

  role :source do
    def transfer
      self.balance -= amount
      destination.balance += amount
      self
    end
  end
end

Working with collections

If you want to use an Array of objects (for example) as a role player in your context, you may do so. If you want each item in your collection to gain behavior, you merely need to create a role for the items.

Surrounded will attempt to guess at the singular role name. For example, a role player named members would be given the behaviors from a Members behavior module or class. Each item in your members collection would be given behavior from a Member behavior module or class if you create one.

class Organization
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize_without_keywords :leader, :members

  role :members do
    # special behavior for the collection
  end

  role :member do
    # special behavior to be applied to each member in the collection
  end  
end

Reusing context objects

If you create a context object and need to use the same type of object with new role players, you may use the rebind method. It will clear any instance_variables from your context object and map the given objects to their names:

context = Employment.new(current_user, the_boss)
context.rebind(employee: another_user, boss: someone_else) # same context, new players

Background Processing

While there's no specific support for background processing, your context objects make it easy for you to add your own by remembering what arguments were provided during initialization.

When you initialize a context, it will keep track of the parameters and their matching arguments in a private hash called initializer_arguments. This allows you to write methods to create a context object and have itself sent to a background processor.

class ExpensiveCalculation
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize :leader, :members

  def send_to_background(trigger_method)
    background_arguments = initializer_arguments.merge(trigger: trigger_method)
    BackgroundProcessor.enqueue(self.class.name, **background_arguments)
  end

  class BackgroundProcessor
    def perform(**args)
      trigger_name = args.delete(:trigger)
      job_class.new(args).send(trigger_name)
    end
  end
end
ExpensiveCalculation.new(some_object, some_collection).send_to_background(:do_expensive_calculation)

The above example is merely pseudo-code to show how initializer_arguments can be used. Customize it according to your own needs.

Overview in code

Here's a view of the possibilities in code.

# set default role type for *all* contexts in your program
Surrounded::Context.default_role_type = :module # also :wrap, :wrapper, or :interface

class ActiviatingAccount
  extend Surrounded::Context

  # set the default role type only for this class
  self.default_role_type = :module # also :wrap, :wrapper, or :interface

  # shortcut initialization code
  initialize(:activator, :account)
  # or handle it yourself
  def initialize(activator, account)
    # this must be done to handle the mapping of roles to objects
    # pass an array of arrays with role name symbol and the object for that role
    map_roles([[:activator, activator],[:account, account]])
    # or pass a hash
    map_roles(:activator => activator, :account => account)

    # or load extra objects, perform other functions, etc. if you need and then use super
    account.perform_some_funtion
    super
  end
  # these also must be done if you create your own initialize method.
  # this is a shortcut for using attr_reader and private
  private_attr_reader :activator, :account

  # If you need to mix default initialzation and extra work use a block
  initialize :activator, :account do
    map_roles(:third_party => get_some_other_object)
  end
  # but remember to set the extra accessors:
  private_attr_reader :third_party

  # initialize with keyword arguments
  keyword_initialize(:activator, :account)
  # this makes the following instance method signature with required keyword arguments
  def initialize(activator:, account:)
    # ...
  end

  role :activator do # module by default
    def some_behavior; end
  end

  #  role_methods :activator, :module do # alternatively use role_methods if you choose
  #    def some_behavior; end
  #  end
  #
  #  role :activator, :wrap do
  #    def some_behavior; end
  #  end
  #
  #  role :activator, :interface do
  #    def some_behavior; end
  #  end
  #
  # use your own classes if you don't want SimpleDelegator
  # class SomeSpecialRole
  #   include Surrounded # <-- you must remember this in your own classes
  #   # Surrounded assumes SomeSpecialRole.new(some_special_role)
  #   def initialize(...);
  #     # ... your code here
  #   end
  # end

  # if you use a regular method and want to use context-specific behavior, 
  # you must handle storing the context yourself:
  def regular_method
    apply_behaviors # handles the adding of all the roles and behaviors
    activator.some_behavior # behavior not available unless you apply roles on initialize
  ensure
     # Use ensure to enforce the removal of behaviors in case of exceptions.
     # This also does not affect the return value of this method.
    remove_behaviors # handles the removal of all roles and behaviors
  end

  # This trigger or the forward* methods are preferred for creating triggers.
  trigger :some_trigger_method do
    activator.some_behavior # behavior always available
  end

  trigger def some_other_trigger
    activator.some_behavior # behavior always available
  end

  def regular_non_trigger
    activator.some_behavior # behavior always available with the following line
  end
  trigger :regular_non_trigger # turns the method into a trigger

  # create restrictions on what triggers may be used
  protect_triggers # <-- this is required if you want to protect your triggers this way.
  disallow :some_trigger_method do
    # whatever conditional code for the instance of the context
  end
  # you could also use `guard` instead of `disallow`

  # or define your own method without the `disallow` keyword
  def disallow_some_trigger_method?
    # whatever conditional code for the instance of the context
  end
  # Prefer using `disallow` because it will wrap role players in their roles for you;
  # the `disallow_some_trigger_method?` defined above, does not.

  # Create shortcuts for triggers as class methods
  # so you can do ActiviatingAccount.some_trigger_method(activator, account)
  # This will make all triggers shortcuts.
  shortcut_triggers
  # Alterantively, you could implement shortcuts individually:
  def self.some_trigger_method(activator, account)
    instance = self.new(activator, account)
    instance.some_trigger_method
  end

  # Set triggers to always return the context object
  # so you can enforce East-oriented style or Tell, Don't Ask
  east_oriented_triggers

  # Forward context instance methods as triggers to role players
  forward_trigger :role_name, :method_name
  forward_trigger :role_name, :method_name, :alternative_trigger_name_for_method_name
  forward_triggers :role_name, :list, :of, :methods, :to, :forward
  forwarding [:list, :of, :methods, :to, :forward] => :role_name
end

# with keyword_initialize (will be changed to initialize)
context = ActiviatingAccount.new(activator: some_object, account: some_account)
# with initialize (this will be moved to initialize_without_keywords)
context = ActiviatingAccount.new(some_object, some_account)
context.triggers # => lists a Set of triggers
# when using protect_triggers
context.triggers # => lists a Set of triggers which may currently be called
context.triggers # => lists a Set of all triggers (the same as if protect_triggers was _not_ used)
context.allow?(:trigger_name) # => returns a boolean if the trigger may be run

# reuse the context object with new role players
context.rebind(activator: another_object, account: another_account)

Dependencies

The dependencies are minimal. The plan is to keep it that way but allow you to configure things as you need. The Triad project was written specifically to manage the mapping of roles and objects to the modules which contain the behaviors. It is used in Surrounded to keep track of role player, roles, and role constant names but it is not a hard requirement. You may implement your own but presently you'll need to dive into the implementation to fully understand how. Future updates may provide better support and guidance.

If you're using Casting, for example, Surrounded will attempt to use that before extending an object, but it will still work without it.

Support for other ways to apply behavior

Surrounded is designed to be flexible for you. If you have your own code to manage applying behaviors, you can setup your context class to use it.

Additional libraries

Here's an example using Behavioral

class MyCustomContext
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize :employee, :boss

  def module_extension_methods
    [:with_behaviors].concat(super)
  end

  def module_removal_methods
    [:without_behaviors].concat(super)
  end
end

If you're using your own non-SimpleDelegator wrapper you can conform to that; whatever it may be.

class MyCustomContext
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize :employee, :boss

  class Employee < SuperWrapper
    include Surrounded

    # defined behaviors here...

    def wrapped_object
      # return the object that is wrapped
    end

  end

  def unwrap_methods
    [:wrapped_object]
  end
end

Applying individual roles

If you'd like to use a special approach for just a single role, you may do that too.

When applying behaviors from a role to your role players, your Surrounded context will first look for a method named "apply_behavior_#{role}". Define your own method and set it to accept 2 arguments: the role constant and the role player.

class MyCustomContext
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize :employee, :boss

  def apply_behavior_employee(behavior_constant, role_player)
    behavior_constant.build(role_player).apply # or whatever your need to do with your constant and object.
  end
end

You can also plan for special ways to remove behavior as well.

class MyCustomContext
  extend Surrounded::Context

  initialize :employee, :boss

  def remove_behavior_employee(behavior_constant, role_player)
    role_player.cleanup # or whatever your need to do with your constant and object.
  end
end

You can remember the method name by the convention that remove or apply describes it's function, behavior refers to the first argument (thet contsant holding the behaviors), and then the name of the role which refers to the role playing object: remove_behavior_role.

How to read this code

If you use this library, it's important to understand it.

As much as possible, when you use the Surrounded DSL for creating triggers, roles, initialize methods, and others you'll likely find the actual method definitions created in a module and then find that module included in your class.

This is a design choice which allows you to override any standard behavior more easily.

Where methods exist and why

When you define an initialize method for a Context class, Surrounded could define the method on your class like this:

def initialize(*roles)
  self.class_eval do # <=== this evaluates on _your_ class and defines it there.
    # code...
  end
end

If we used the above approach, you'd need to redefine initialize in its entirety:

initialize(:role1, role2)

def initialize(role1, role2) # <=== this will completely redefine initialize on _this class_
  super # <=== this will NOT be the initialize method as provided to the Surrounded initialize above.
end

Surrounded uses a more flexible approach for you:

def initialize(*roles)
  mod = Module.new
  mod.class_eval do # <=== this evaluates on the module and defines it there.
    # code...
  end
  include mod # <=== this adds it to the class ancestors
end

With this approach you can use the way Surrounded is setup, but make changes if you need.

initialize(:role1, :role2) # <=== defined in a module in the class ancestors

def initialize(role1, role2)
  super # <=== run the method as defined above in the Surrounded DSL
  # ... then do additional work
end

Read methods, expect modules

When you go to read the code, expect to find behavior defined in modules.

Installation

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'surrounded'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install surrounded

Installation for Rails

See surrounded-rails

Contributing

  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.