DRYing Up Our Testimonial Partial

So for those of you that ran through the and created your very own random testimonial helper, I’m going to create another help to and were are going to make a few updates to our partial. First we have to do a few things:

  1. Rename our _random_testimonial.rhtml partial to _testimonial.rhtml
  2. Open our partial and remove the random_ from lines 2 and 3 leaving testimonial.[object]
  3. Open our application_helper.rb and edit out random_ on the line rendering the partial.
  4. Give the code a test

Everything should be just fine. All we have done is removed the usage of “random_” when it comes to using our partial. All the other code is the same here. So why would we do such a thing? Well… what if we had a page that we wanted to show all of our testimonials on? We already have a perfectly good partial view – we might as well take advantage of it. So in my testimonials_helper.rb I make another helper as such:

def all_testimonials
  @testimonials = Testimonial.find(:all)
  render(:partial => 'shared/testimonial', :collection => @testimonials)

Notice how I’m using the same partial here. Now in my testimonials controller I’ll just create a blank index method. The in my view testimonials/index.rthml I’ll just call the <%= all_testimonials %> helper.

Now I can use the both helpers with the same partial depending on the output I’m trying to active.

Now granted, we could use a method supporting polymorphism to DRY this up a little more, but I’ll let you experiment more with that yourself, when it comes to displaying testimonials on a page I don’t think I’m going to take the code THAT far.


Random Testimonials with Rails

A common functionality seen on many websites is to display a random testimonial from a client or customer of your product on a side bar or within the masthead, doing this in Rails is quite simple and is done with the assistance of a Rails helper and rendering a partial.

First off course you are going to need to generate your model within your command prompt/terminal insuring that you are in your projects directory:

script/generate model Testimonial

I’m expecting here that you are familiar enough with rails to create the migration file yourself and add a field for both the testimonial itself as well as the signature. Note Rails currently at 1.2.3 has an issue when using the name “quote” for a column name in your table.

Next let’s code the helper. In our helpers folder let’s open the application_helper.rb and add the following:

def show_random_testimonial
  @random_testimonial = Testimonial.find(:first, :order => 'RAND()')
  render(:partial => 'shared/random_testimonial', :object => @random_testimonial)

I like to put all my partials in a separate subdirectory in my views called shared.

Alright, so now create that shared directory in the view directory and create the file _random_testimonial.rhtml to use as our partial. Here we go:

  <p><%= random_testimonial.statement %></p>
  <cite><%= random_testimonial.signature %></cite>

You’ll notice above that I called my column for the testimonial itself “statement” which is a text field, and “signature” for the customer’s name which is a string/varchar. Now all you have to do is open up your layout file and call the helper <%= show_random_testimonial %> wherever you want your random testimonial to appear.

So that’s it. Until next time.