Previewing email in Rails with ActionMailer::Preview and Letter Opener

Developing email templates to be sent by our Rails application may sometimes be a long and tedious operation because under development you must continuously send to yourself the email in order to test the changes.

If you don’t want to waste your time, Rails provides a very helpful tool for those who need to build the layout for the emails of our application: ActionMailer::Preview. In fact, with this tool (available from Rails 4.1), you are able to generate the Rails mailer view without the need to actually send the email.
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More space, more productivity, more fun

Whoever uses a laptop finds out that there are situations where they want more available space on their desktop. For this reason, working with an external monitor can make you much more productive. When you are at home or at your office, you probably have a secondary display for your laptop but not when you are outside.

As many developers, I have a 13 inches MacBook and sometimes I need to have extra space to better handle multi-tasking and to increase my productivity. Now, there is a solution for those who want to have the advantages of an extra monitor even outside the office: DuetDisplay. Continue reading “More space, more productivity, more fun”

How to create and customize a slider

A few days ago I had to work as a frontend developer because I needed to create some html static pages for mobile devices. One requirement was to have a scrollable component that mimics a calendar interface.

Building a slider from scratch takes a long time for sure, so I decided to use Swiper, an open-source slider compatible with most browsers and platforms.

I chose Swiper among many other candidates because it can be easily installed via Bower, which is currently one of the most popular package manager tools. Continue reading “How to create and customize a slider”

How to customize Solidus and its extensions

Since many years I had the passion for online shop. When I approached to Ruby on Rails, I found Solidus, an open source eCommerce application. I already have written another article more generic about it, to describe most of the features and potentialities of the ruby gem of Solidus, which gives you, once installed, a framework ready to be used and customized.

In a short time, I was able to create a fully functional platform, mainly by doing changes on the frontend-side. In fact, the other components provided by the gem, such as the backend, are perfectly arranged and comprehensive of all the main features needed for the management of an online store.

However, after I started to customize the platform by writing a lot of code, I discovered that there is a myriad of extensions that you can add in a few steps in your project. For example, I needed to print the invoice, and so I started coding this new feature, when in halfway, by searching on Google, I found out this gem: solidus_print_invoice. Continue reading “How to customize Solidus and its extensions”

The easiest way to add a Datepicker in Rails

A few days ago, I had to put in a registration form for a website, written in Ruby, a tool which gives you the possibility to enter the date, more easily, in the desired format. I decided to use a datepicker in order to allow users to choose the date rather than writing it (a more complex procedure). If a date is chosen, feedback is shown as the input’s value.

At the beginning, the implementation of the interactive calendar was a bit problematic and long, until I found a gem that did the whole work for me. The gem, called Bootstrap Datepicker for Rails, runs from the Rails version 3.1 up to the latest. As usual, to install it just add it to Gemfile with gem 'bootstrap-datepicker-rails' and launch the bundle install. Continue reading “The easiest way to add a Datepicker in Rails”

Allow users to upload files in your Google Drive

Google Drive is a very popular tool to store and synchronize files. In fact, you can utilize this service even without a Google account. I recently discovered an additional feature that allows other users to upload files in my google drive. This is very useful because it simplifies file sharing between the visitors of a blog.

The user will see a simple web form where they can choose the file to be uploaded to a shared online storage drive. There is no need to have a google account, invitations or any form of authorization. This avoids the limitations set by the classic invitational base system; however, a serious disadvantage is that all co-workers can see and remove any files in the shared folder. Continue reading “Allow users to upload files in your Google Drive”

Solidus – Rails eCommerce Solution

Solidus is a fully open source project, written in Ruby on Rails and it is a continuation (a fork) of Spree Commerce. This platform is designed for retailers who have many products and it is completely scalable, stable and highly customizable. The project is composed of several gems, which are built to work together. These gems are:

  • solidus_api (RESTful API)
  • solidus_frontend (Cart and storefront)
  • solidus_backend (Admin area)
  • solidus_core (Essential models, mailers, and classes)
  • solidus_sample (Sample data)

Continue reading “Solidus – Rails eCommerce Solution”