Skip to content
This repository

HTTPS clone URL

Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with HTTPS or Subversion.

Download ZIP

Comma is a small CSV (ie. comma separated values) generation extension for Ruby objects, that lets you seamlessly define a CSV output format via a small DSL

README.rdoc

COMMA

github.com/crafterm/comma

DESCRIPTION:

Comma is a CSV (ie. comma separated values) generation extension for Ruby objects, that lets you seamlessly define a CSV output format via a small DSL. Comma works well on pure Ruby objects with attributes, as well as complex ones such as ActiveRecord objects with associations, extensions, etc. It doesn't distinguish between attributes, methods, associations, extensions, etc. - they all are considered equal and invoked identically via the Comma DSL description. Multiple different CSV output descriptions can also be defined.

When multiple objects in an Array are converted to CSV, the output includes generation of a header row reflected from names of the properties requested, or specified via the DSL.

CSV can be a bit of a boring format - the motivation behind Comma was to have a CSV extension that was simple, flexible, and would treat attributes, methods, associations, etc., all the same without the need for any complex configuration, and also work on Ruby objects, not just ActiveRecord or other base class derivatives.

An example Comma CSV enabled ActiveRecord class:

class Book < ActiveRecord::Base

  # ================
  # = Associations =
  # ================
  has_many   :pages
  has_one    :isbn
  belongs_to :publisher

  # ===============
  # = CSV support =
  # ===============
  comma do

    name
    description

    pages :size => 'Pages'
    publisher :name
    isbn :number_10 => 'ISBN-10', :number_13 => 'ISBN-13'
    blurb 'Summary'

  end

end

Annotated, the comma description is as follows:

# starts a Comma description block, generating 2 methods #to_comma and
# #to_comma_headers for this class.
comma do

  # name, description are attributes of Book with the header being reflected as
  # 'Name', 'Description'
  name
  description

  # pages is an association returning an array, :size is called on the
  # association results, with the header name specified as 'Pages'
  pages :size => 'Pages'

  # publisher is an association returning an object, :name is called on the
  # associated object, with the reflected header 'Name'
  publisher :name

  # isbn is an association returning an object, :number_10 and :number_13 are
  # called on the object with the specified headers 'ISBN-10' and 'ISBN-13'
  isbn :number_10 => 'ISBN-10', :number_13 => 'ISBN-13'

  # blurb is an attribute of Book, with the header being specified directly
  # as 'Summary'
  blurb 'Summary'

end

In the above example, any of the declarations (name, description, pages, publisher, isbn, blurb, etc), could be methods, attributes, associations, etc - no distinction during configuration is required, as everything is invoked via Ruby's #send method.

You can get the CSV representation of any object by calling the to_comma method, optionally providing a CSV description name to use.

Object values are automatically converted to strings via to_s allowing you to reuse any existing to_s methods on your objects (instead of having to call particular properties or define CSV specific output methods). Header names are also automatically humanized when reflected (eg. Replacing _ characters with whitespace). The 'isbn' example above shows how multiple values can be added to the CSV output.

Multiple CSV descriptions can also be specified for the same class, eg:

class Book < ActiveRecord::Base

  # ================
  # = Associations =
  # ================
  has_many   :pages
  has_one    :isbn
  belongs_to :publisher

  # ===============
  # = CSV support =
  # ===============
  comma do

    name
    description

    pages :size => 'Pages'
    publisher :name
    isbn :number_10 => 'ISBN-10', :number_13 => 'ISBN-13'
    blurb 'Summary'

  end

  comma :brief do

    name
    description
    blurb 'Summary'

  end

end

You can specify which output format you would like to use via an optional parameter to to_comma:

Book.limited(10).to_comma(:brief)

Specifying no description name to to_comma is equivalent to specifying :default as the description name.

You can pass options for FasterCSV, e.g.

Book.limited(10).to_comma(:style        => :brief,
                          :col_sep      => ';',
                          :force_quotes => true)

You can pass the :filename option and have Comma writes the CSV output to this file:

Book.limited(10).to_comma(:filename => 'books.csv')

You also can pass the :write_header option to hide the header line (true is default):

Book.limited(10).to_comma(:write_headers => false)

Using blocks

For more complex relationships you can pass blocks for calculated values, or related values. Following the previous example here is a comma set using blocks (both with and without labels for your CSV headings):

class Publisher < ActiveRecord::Base
  # ================
  # = Associations =
  # ================
  has_one  :primary_contact, :class_name => "User" #(basic user with a name)
  has_many :users
end

class Book < ActiveRecord::Base

  # ================
  # = Associations =
  # ================
  has_many   :pages
  has_one    :isbn
  belongs_to :publisher

  # ===============
  # = CSV support =
  # ===============
  comma do
    name
    description

    pages :size => 'Pages'
    publisher :name
    publisher { |publisher| publisher.primary_contact.name.to_s.titleize }
    publisher 'Number of publisher users' do |publisher| publisher.users.size end
    isbn :number_10 => 'ISBN-10', :number_13 => 'ISBN-13'
    blurb 'Summary'

  end

end

In the preceding example, the 2 new fields added (both based on the publisher relationship) mean that the following will be added:

- the first example 'publishers_contact' is loaded straight as a block. The value returned by the lambda is displayed with a header value of 'Publisher'
- the second example 'total_publishers_users' is sent via a hash and a custom label is set, if used in the first examples method the header would be 'Publisher', but sent as a hash the header is 'Number of publisher users'.

USING WITH RAILS

When used with Rails (ie. add 'comma' as a gem dependency), Comma automatically adds support for rendering CSV output in your controllers:

class BooksController < ApplicationController

  def index
    respond_to do |format|
      format.csv { render :csv => Book.limited(50) }
    end
  end

end

You can specify which output format you would like to use by specifying a style parameter:

class BooksController < ApplicationController

  def index
    respond_to do |format|
      format.csv { render :csv => Book.limited(50), :style => :brief }
    end
  end

end

With the Rails renderer you can supply any of the regular parameters that you would use with to_comma such as :filename, :write_headers, :force_quotes, etc. The parameters just need to be supplied after you specify the collection for the csv as demonstrated above.

When used with Rails 2.3.*, Comma also adds support for exporting named scopes:

class Book < ActiveRecord::Base
  named_scope :recent,
              lambda { { :conditions => ['created_at > ?', 1.month.ago] } }

  # ...
end

Calling the to_comma method on the named scope will internally use Rails' find_each method, instantiating only 1,000 ActiveRecord objects at a time:

Book.recent.to_comma

DEPENDENCIES

If you're on Ruby 1.8.*, the FasterCSV gem is recommended for performance reasons.

gem install fastercsv

If you have any questions or suggestions for Comma, please feel free to contact me at crafterm@redartisan.com, all feedback welcome!

TESTING

This gem has been tested on : Ruby 1.8.7, 1.9.2

And on Rails 2.x and 3.x.

To run the test suite across multiple gem file sets, we're using [Appraisal](github.com/thoughtbot/appraisal), use the following commands :

“` bundle install bundle exec rake appraisals:install bundle exec rake appraisals spec “`

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.