Posts in "Ruby"

Ruby Include module with arguments

Ruby Module is an easy and great way to encapsulate related methods/constants and extend a class, but sometimes I find myself really want to tell it something about the current class.

A pseudo code of my "wish" looks like this: of course it's invalid, Ruby doesn’t allow us to do so.

class Post < ApplicationRecord
  include Publishable(column_name: :published_at)

Recently I read a blog post about how the author learned from reading some ruby gems' implementation to allow including a module with argument. Sounds fun so I gave it a try.

When you may want to include a module with arguments?

Let's first see an example, this may not be practical but at the moment I couldn't think of other great ones so please bear with me.

module Publishable
  def publish

class Post < ApplicationRecord
  include Publishable

There's nothing wrong with this code but some may argue that the Publishable module depends on the published_at column name, if someone renames the column to published_on then it'll be broken, it's coupled to the Post class.

One way to solve it may look like this:

module Publishable
  def publish
    update(publishable_column_name =>


  def publishable_column_name
    raise NotImplementedError

class Post < ApplicationRecord
  include Publishable


  def publishable_column_name

Now the Publishable is relying on its "host"(Post) to define the method publishable_column_name to explicitly tell it the column name, otherwise it will raise the not implemented error. But the downside is the module's requirement leaks to Post, and that's arguably break the purpose to use a module, which is to group all methods of a concept in one place.

I'm thinking this could be a use case for the technique I'm gonna show you in this blog post.

Trick: A Class Inherits From Module

How the trick work is already introduced in the article above, let's fast forward to the end result now.

class Publishable < Module
  def initialize(column_name)
    @column_name = column_name

  def included(base)
    column_name = @column_name

    base.class_eval do # self is Post class
      define_method(:publish) do  
        update(column_name => # self is Post object

class Post < ApplicationRecord

The notable things are

  • class Publishable < Module, we're not declaring a module, instead we're making a class that inherits from module
  • When we include this module, we can now initialize it with any arguments
  • The arguments will be available inside the Publishable "module", hence no the knowledge is decoupled
  • Use define_method(:publish) { } instead of def publish, latter will make you lose the context and you can't access column_name variable anymore

Why It Works?

I'm gonna borrow the code from the article, this is how Rubinius handles module and is identical to MRI Ruby:

def include?(mod)
  if !mod.kind_of?(Module) or mod.kind_of?(Class)
    raise TypeError, "wrong argument type #{mod.class} (expected Module)"
  # snip

When we do include SomeModule, this code will be executed to check if the target is a valid module. The trick is how we could manage to pass that check, that is "something is kind of Module and not kind of Class".

class Publishable < Module

Publishable.kind_of?(Module) # => true
Publishable.kind_of?(Class) # => true # => true # => false

With this trick you can pass whatever dependencies from the host to the module. Hope you find it useful, and let me know if you find a good use case with it in real world 😁Not sure if it's yet another case of abusing Ruby's flexibility to driver it too far, I do concern about its possible confusion when bring to teams in which people are most likely not aware of this kind of hack.

Further Reading

These 2 gems are using the same technique, and their full implementations are really easy to read and follow.

May 28, 2016 Ruby

Ruby gsub With a Block: Leverage Ruby Power With regex

If the task could be achieved by sprinkling some ruby magic, then better do it rather than trying to find the perfect reg expression.

One day I was trying to convert a liquid img tag to markdown style, one tricky part is the image caption can be omitted.

img_1 = "{% img http// %}"
img_2 = "{% img http// Image Caption %}"

regex = /{% img (\S+) (.*)\s?%}/

#<MatchData "{% img http// %}" 1:"http//" 2:"">

#<MatchData "{% img http// Image Caption %}" 1:"http//" 2:"Image Caption ">

The caption matched for img_2 contained a trailing space: Image Caption . I was trying to tweak the regex to eliminate the trailing space but my limited knowledge couldn't get me there.

This is a good place to use gsub with a block, so I could further borrow the String#strip power to get rid of the trailing space.

def convert_liquid_img_tag_to_markdown(text)
  text.gsub(/{% img (\S+) (.*)\s*%}/) do |liquid_img_tag|
    url = Regexp.last_match[1] # same as \1 for inline style
    caption = Regexp.last_match[2].strip


# => ![](http//
# => ![Image Caption](http//

The link above from thoughtbot mentioned the meaning of having an intention-revealing name, liquid_img_tag in this case, but what's more powerful is the inside the block it's all ruby and matched strings, you can do whatever you want with it.

I'm still curious about the right regex to get rid of the trailing space, but for a simple, one-off task it saves a lot of time to ulitize the ruby power inside the gsub block.

Another example is logging the before/after:

def convert_liquid_github_tag(text)
  return unless text

  text.gsub(/{% gist (.+) %}/) do |match|
    html = "<script src=\"{Regexp.last_match[1]}.js\"></script>"

    puts "#{match} to #{html}"
May 12, 2016 Ruby, regex

Install Ruby 1.9.3 on Mavericks


$ rvm install 1.9.3

Searching for binary rubies, this might take some time.
Found remote file
Checking requirements for osx.
Installing requirements for osx.
Updating system - using Zsh, can not show progress, be patient...
Error running 'requirements_osx_brew_update_system ruby-1.9.3-p448',
please read /Users/qihuan-piao/.rvm/log/1383014621_ruby-1.9.3-p448/update_system.log
Requirements installation failed with status: 1.


$ gcc -v

Configured with: --prefix=/Applications/ --with-gxx-include-dir=/usr/include/c++/4.2.1
Apple LLVM version 5.0 (clang-500.2.79) (based on LLVM 3.3svn)
Target: x86_64-apple-darwin13.0.0
Thread model: posix

rvm install 1.9.3 --with-gcc=clang


October 29, 2013 Ruby

Ruby how to encode url

December 08, 2011 Ruby, urlencode

Error installing rails bundler requires RubyGems version >= 1.3.6

sudo gem install railsでこんなエラーが出ちゃいました。

Error installing rails bundler requires RubyGems version >= 1.3.6


sudo gem update --system

pdating RubyGems
Updating rubygems-update
Successfully installed rubygems-update-1.6.1
Updating RubyGems to 1.6.1
Installing RubyGems 1.6.1
RubyGems 1.6.1 installed

=== 1.6.1 / 2011-03-03

Bug Fixes:

#  Installation no longer fails when a dependency from a version that won't be
  installed is unsatisfied.
#  README.rdoc now shows how to file tickets and get help.  Pull Request #40 by
  Aaron Patterson.
#  Gem files are cached correctly again.  Patch #29051 by Mamoru Tasaka.
#  Tests now pass with non-022 umask.  Patch #29050 by Mamoru Tasaka.


RubyGems installed the following executables:

を実行した後にsudo gem install railsでrailsをインストールすればOKです。

March 07, 2011 Ruby, Rails, 環境構築, troubleshooting