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Extends ActiveRecord::Base for simple loading and dumping of CSV files.

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README
CSV Records
==========

This Rails plugin extends ActiveRecord::Base for simple loading and dumping of 
CSV files.

Installation
=======

You must specify the base CSV_DIR pathname, either in application.rb, your 
environment file, or directly in your ActiveRecord::Base instance.

Rails 3:

  rails plugin install git://github.com/wtn/csv_records.git

Rails 2:

	script/plugin install git://github.com/wtn/csv_records.git

Public Methods
=======

The csv_exportable module provides the csv_write method, which writes each row 
in the table to disk. You may specify which columns and rows to export by 
passing options to the method or overriding defaults with methods in your 
class. Exporting is quick, as records are loaded as arrays of arrays with 
ActiveRecord::Base.select_rows, rather than being instantiated as normal 
ActiveRecord objects. You may use the default scopes and file options or you 
may pass custom parameters. This method returns the number of rows in the 
export scope.

The csv_importable module provides the csv_import method, which saves each CSV 
row as an ActiveRecord object. Callbacks are executed as normal. Each row is 
loaded with create! inside one transaction for the whole data set. If any row 
fails, the whole data import will be rolled back. This method returns the 
number of rows added during the import.

The table_empty module adds table_empty?, which is helpful if you need to 
check if you've imported data yet (or if any data exists to export). The 
method returns nil if the klass' table does not exist, true or false 
otherwise.

Private Methods
=======

csv_export_column_names may be used with csv_export_excluded_column_names, 
noncontent_column_names, timestamp_column_names, super(), or other methods you 
write to control which columns are included when exporting data. The simplest 
way is to override csv_export_excluded_column_names in your class--it returns 
an empty array by default.

csv_filepath, csv_dir and csv_filename determine filepath generation. csv_dir 
depends on the CSV_DIR constant, which may be set in your class or globally in 
your environment file. Alternately, you may pass the :filepath option and 
avoid using these methods altogether.

Examples
=======

Person.csv_import # create active_record rows from people.csv

Person.csv_import(*%w{managers players})
  # load from managers.csv and players.csv

Stadium.csv_write # dump all rows into stadiums.csv

Bird.table_empty? # check if birds exist (nil if table missing)

zebra_scope = Zebra.where('age > 7')
Zebra.csv_write(:scope => zebra_scope) # pass a custom scope
zebra_scope.base_class.write_csv(:scope => zebra_scope) # same

Bug.csv_write(:filename => 'banana_slugs', :scope => Bug.banana_slugs)
  # write rows in the banana_slugs scope to 'banana_slugs.csv'

Book.csv_write(:filepath => '/home/wtn/books.csv')
  # specify output filepath (overrides any passed filename)

def Tree.csv_export_excluded_column_names; noncontent_column_names; end
  # avoid writing primary key and foreign keys to CSV

Box::CSV_DIR = Rails.root.join('csv', 'paper_products')
  # Override CSV_DIR

ActiveRecord::Base.csv_write(:scope => Toy.blue)
  # fails because ActiveRecord::Base.table_name raises exception

Pencil.csv_write(:column_names => %w{name hardness})
  # export only specified columns

Caveats
=======

CSVRecords has been tested with ActiveRecord 3 on ruby 1.8.7 and 1.9.2-p0.

The modules in this plugin extend ActiveRecord::Base. If this annoys you, you 
may instead extend only the classes you need. You may also remove unneeded 
methods.

If you do not need the time-consuming ActiveRecord callbacks that run with 
create!, submit a patch or use fixtures instead.

Imports run in a database transaction, so you get all or none of your records.

Instead of using batches, the csv_write method performs one large query on the 
passed scope. While ActiveRecord objects are not instantiated for each row, I 
will implement scope pagination in the next version for cases with many rows 
(or extra chunky rows).

License
=======

Copyright (c) 2010 William T Nelson, released under the Simplified BSD 
License. See the BSD-LICENSE file.
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