This article is obsolete, as is the plugin. The article does not have a replacement, and the plugin died a kind death. It’s code is still available if anybody wishes to take the reins and go with it.

Over on the Rails mailing list, Luke Randall is proposing that Rails applications and generators standardize on some keys for the flash:

This being a very good idea, here is an excerpt of his proposition:

Based on my own experiences, I’d suggest something along
the lines of the following (the names are the best I can think of,
anyone is welcome to suggest better ones):

  • :notice for positive feedback (action successful, etc)
  • :message for neutral feedback (reminders, etc)
  • :warning for negative feedback (action unsuccessful, error encountered, etc)

(emphasis mine)

In the spirit of open source, I started coding a new Rails plugin: the FlashHelperPlugin. With it, you will be able to do:

 1 class UsersController < ApplicationController
 2   def authenticate
 3     if authenticated? then
 4       flash_success('Authenticated successfully')
 5       redirect_back_or_default :controller => 'home'
 6     else
 7       flash_failure('Failed authentication')
 8     end
 9   end

 1 <html>
 2 <head>
 3   <%= stylesheet_link_tag 'scaffold', 'application',
 4       :media => 'all' %>
 5 </head>
 6 <body>
 7   <%= show_flash_messages %>
 8   <%= @content_for_layout %>
 9 </body>
10 </html>

Actually, what I need now is a nudge to get the tests working. Also, WEBrick fails silently on startup with this plugin in vendor/plugins.

If you want to help, go on over to the flash_helper plugin project page for more information. Get started by checking out the code from Subversion.


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I am François Beausoleil, a Ruby on Rails and Scala developer. During the day, I work on Seevibes, a platform to measure social interactions related to TV shows. At night, I am interested many things. Read my biography.

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