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An ultra light weight yet ridiculously powerful Ruby feature toggle gem
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README.md

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Togls

A lightweight, simple, and yet extremely flexible feature toggle library for Ruby. It prides itself on being designed in such a manner that it is extremely flexible and yet still provides a simple, clear, and meaningful interface.

Installation

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'togls'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install togls

Basic Usage

At the core togls is primarily used by performing two distinct actions.

  1. Defining Feature Toggles
  2. Evaluating Feature Toggles

Defining Feature Toggles

In order to use togls, you first have to define some feature toggles. It is highly recommended that you define your feature toggles in their own file. If you are using togls in a Rails project we recommend putting it in config/initializers/togls_features.rb. If you are using togls in a generic Ruby project you can locate it wherever you like. However, the feature definitions must be loaded before they can be evaluated.

The following, config/initializers/togls_features.rb, is an example of how one would define some basic feature toggles.

Togls.release do
  # Set this feature to always be on
  feature(:pop_up_login_form, "use pop up login instead of normal login").on

  # Set this feature to always be off
  feature(:send_follup_email, "send the follow up email").off
end

The above defined feature toggles would use default feature target type. If we wanted to define them explicitly with other target types it would like as follows.

Togls.release do
  # Set this feature to always be on
  feature(:pop_up_login_form, "use pop up login instead of normal login", :user_id).on

  # Set this feature to always be off
  feature(:send_follup_email, "send the follow up email", :user_email_address).off
end

Evaluating Feature Toggles

Once you have defined your feature toggles. The next thing you would likely want to do is conditionally control something based on them. The following are a few examples of how you would do this given the feature definitions provided above.

if Togls.feature(:pop_up_login_form).on?
  # Use pop up login form
else
  # Use normal non-pop up login form
end

...

if Togls.feature(:send_follup_email).on?
  # send the follow up email
end

Note: Feature toggles that are evaluated but have not been defined will default to off.

The above two feature toggles evaluated are written as if the feature toggle has a target type of Togls::TargetTypes::NONE. If the feature toggles had a specific target type and they were evaluted as shown above an exception would be raised notifying you that they expect an entity of that type as the target for evaluation. To better match the explicit target type example from Defining Feature Toggles it would look something like the following.

if Togls.feature(:pop_up_login_form).on?(current_user.id)
  # Use pop up login form
else
  # Use normal non-pop up login form
end

...

if Togls.feature(:send_follup_email).on?(current_user.email)
  # send the follow up email
end

Override Feature Toggles

Toggles can be overriden using environment variables following the naming scheme provided below. This is especially useful when wanting to change state of toggles within your development environment, without altering the codified default state.

The naming scheme for overriding toggles is simply the key of the feature toggle in all caps with TOGLS_ prefixed to it. For example if we had the following feature toggle defined.

Togls.release do
  # Set this feature to always be on
  feature(:pop_up_login_form, "use pop up login instead of normal login").on
end

We could override this by setting the value of the TOGLS_POP_UP_LOGIN_FORM environment variable to "false". If you want to override a feature toggle to an on state you can set the TOGLS_POP_UP_LOGIN_FORM environment variable to "true".

Note: This feature is explicitly designed for use in your development environment. If you use this feature in other environments (qa, staging, production, etc.) it may not behave as you expect.

Toggle Features based on Group Membership

togls provides out of the box support for toggling features based on group membership. This basically allows you to have a feature on for members of a defined group and off for non-members. This can be extremely useful if you want to enable features for a small alpha test group for example.

Note: This is implemented using togls extremely robust custom rules system. The following example is just one of the many powerful things you can do with togls and custom rules.

Defining Group based Feature Toggles

The following is an example definition of a feature that toggles on based on group membership.

# Create a group rule so the feature is on if the user is a member of
# the group.
alpha_testers = Togls.rule(:alpha_testers, :group, ["user1@email.com", "user2@example.com"], target_type: :user_email_address)

Togls.release do
  feature(:new_contact_form, "use new contact form", target_type: :user_email_address).on(alpha_testers)
end

The above is really broken down into two steps.

  1. Construct the rule you want to use
  2. Define the feature toggle and pass the rule to its on() method

In the above example we construct an instance of the Togls::Rules::Group rule, passing it the list of alpha tester email addresses. Togls::Rules::Group is a rule that togls provides to make your life a bit simpler.

Then we define a feature, :new_contact_form, that will be on for alpha testers and off for people that don't fall within that group.

Evaluating Group based Feature Toggles

Group based rules are evaluated by using the on? method. However, in this case we have to pass the on? method the target. The target in this case is the email address of the current user. The target is the identifier that you want to check if it belongs to the group or not.

if Togls.feature(:new_contact_form).on?(current_user.email)
  # Use new contact form
else
  # Use old contact form
end

Note: In the above example I reference current_user.email. This is not something that togls provides. It is simply a common way for Ruby/Rails applications to implement access to the concept of the current user.

Groups of Anything

You could just as easily have used user ids instead of email addresses in the example above and it would look something like the following:

# Create a group rule so the feature is on if the user is a member of
# the group.
alpha_testers = Togls.rule(:alpha_testers, :group, [1, 23, 42, 83], :user_id)

Togls.release do
  feature(:new_contact_form, "use new contact form", :user_id).on(alpha_testers)
end
if Togls.feature(:new_contact_form).on?(current_user.id)
  # Use new contact form
else
  # Use old contact form
end

The key take away is that the Togls::Rules::Group rule can be used to define any group you like.

Advanced Usage

togls is capable of much, much more. We have strategically avoided including details of advanced usage in the README.md as to not overwhelm people on first impression. For more details on some of the more advanced features feel free to check out our Wiki. Just a few of the many things it contains are Testing with Toggles, Provided Rules Reference, Custom Rules, Organize Toggle Definitions, Creating Additional Toggle Registries, etc.

Development

After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release to create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to rubygems.org.

Contributing

  1. Fork it ( https://github.com/codebreakdown/togls/fork )
  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 a new Pull Request
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