Sunday, February 26, 2006

Annotate Models Plugin

Rails model files contain no information on the tables they represent. This is a good thing in general, because it reduces duplication—add a column to a table, and there’s no configuration to update in the model.

However, when you’re writing code, it’s sometimes nice to be able to see just what attributes a model has.

Enter annotate models, a really trivial Rails plugin I hacked up in the plane back from the first No Fluffof the year. The plugin adds a comment block to the top of each model file, documenting the schema. If you update the schema, run it again and it updates the comment.

  # Schema as of Mon Feb 27 00:55:58 CST 2006 (schema version 7)
# id :integer(11) not null
# name :string(255)
# description :text
# image_location :string(255)
# price :float default(0.0)
# available_at :datetime

class Product < ActiveRecord::Base

validates_presence_of :name, :description
. . .

Install using:

  > script/plugin install

and run with:

  > rake annotate_models

It only handles models directly under app/models. And, as it’s new, you’d be advised to back up your model files before running it.

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