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Trailblazer Loader

Last updated 14 January 2017

Generic loader for Trailblazer file structure.

Reportedly works with Rails, Grape, Lotus, and Roda, and many more.

Rails users: This gem is bundled with trailblazer-rails.

Overview

While Trailblazer enforces a new file structure where you organize by concept, and not by technology, the naming and the structuring within each concept allows different styles.

Trailblazer-loader supports the following directory layouts concurrently.

Compound-Singular

Per concept, you have one file per abstraction layer (called a compound file). All is singular and reflects the namespace (except for operations which sit in the concept’s namespace).

app
├── concepts
│   ├── comment
│   │   ├── callback.rb
│   │   ├── cell.rb
│   │   ├── contract.rb
│   │   ├── operation.rb
│   │   ├── policy.rb
│   │   └── views
│   │       ├── grid.haml
│   │       └── show.haml

You may nest concepts in concepts.

app
├── concepts
│   ├── comment
│   │   ├── contract.rb
│   │   ├── operation.rb
│   │   ├── admin
│   │       ├── contract.rb
│   │       └── operation.rb

Note: This is the structuring used in the Trailblazer book.

Explicit-Singular

Per concept, you have one directory per abstraction layer and one file per class. All is singular and reflects the namespace (except for operations which sit in the concept’s namespace).

app
├── concepts
│   ├── comment
│   │   ├── contract
│   │   │   ├── create.rb
│   │   │   └── update.rb
│   │   ├── cell
│   │   │   └── form.rb
│   │   ├── operation
│   │   │   ├── create.rb
│   │   │   └── update.rb
│   │   └── views
│   │       ├── grid.haml
│   │       └── show.haml

You may nest concepts in concepts.

app
├── concepts
│   ├── comment
│   │   ├── contract
│   │   │   ├── create.rb
│   │   │   └── update.rb
│   │   ├── operation
│   │   │   ├── create.rb
│   │   │   └── update.rb
│   │   ├── admin
│   │   │   └── contract
│   │   │       ├── create.rb
│   │   │       └── update.rb

Explicit-Plural

Per concept, you have one pluralized directory per abstraction layer and one file per class.

app
├── concepts
│   ├── comment
│   │   ├── contracts
│   │   │   ├── create.rb
│   │   │   └── update.rb
│   │   ├── cells
│   │   │   └── form.rb
│   │   ├── operations
│   │   │   ├── create.rb
│   │   │   └── update.rb
│   │   └── views
│   │       ├── grid.haml
│   │       └── show.haml

And, yes, you may nest concepts in concepts.

app
├── concepts
│   ├── comment
│   │   ├── contracts
│   │   │   ├── create.rb
│   │   │   └── update.rb
│   │   ├── operations
│   │   │   ├── create.rb
│   │   │   └── update.rb
│   │   ├── admin
│   │   │   └── contracts
│   │   │       ├── create.rb
│   │   │       └── update.rb

Loading order

The loading order is identical for all styles.

  1. The loader finds all concept directories.
  2. Concept directories are sorted by nesting level, deeper nestings are loaded later as they might reference concepts they’re nested in. For example, concepts/comment/admin might reuse existing code from concepts/comment.
  3. Per concept, files are lexically sorted, e.g. create.rb will be loaded before update.rb as we mostly do Update < Create.
  4. Per concept, operation files will be loaded after all other layer files have been required. This is because abstraction files like representers or contracts should not reference their operation. The operation, however, as an orchestrating asset needs to refer to various abstraction objects.

Here’s a sample of a explicit-singular session.

[
  "app/concepts/navigation/cell.rb",
  "app/concepts/session/impersonate.rb",
  "app/concepts/session/operation.rb",
  "app/concepts/user/operation.rb",
  "app/concepts/comment/cell/cell.rb",
  "app/concepts/comment/cell/grid.rb",
  "app/concepts/comment/operation/create.rb",
  "app/concepts/api/v1.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/callback/default.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/callback/upload.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/cell.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/cell/decorator.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/cell/form.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/cell/grid.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/contract/create.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/contract/update.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/policy.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/signed_in.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/operation/create.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/operation/delete.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/operation/show.rb",
  "app/concepts/thing/operation/update.rb",
  "app/concepts/api/v1/comment/representer/show.rb",
  "app/concepts/api/v1/comment/operation/create.rb",
  "app/concepts/api/v1/comment/operation/show.rb",
  "app/concepts/api/v1/thing/representer/create.rb",
  "app/concepts/api/v1/thing/representer/index.rb",
  "app/concepts/api/v1/thing/representer/show.rb",
  "app/concepts/api/v1/thing/operation/create.rb",
  "app/concepts/api/v1/thing/operation/index.rb",
  "app/concepts/api/v1/thing/operation/update.rb"
]

Installation

Add this line to your application’s Gemfile:

gem 'trailblazer-loader'

You do not need this step should you use one of the following binding gems.

API

Trailblazer::Loader.new.() { |file| require_dependency(File.join(Rails.app.root, file)) }

Per default, Trailblazer-loader will use app/concepts as the root path for the file search. Change that with the :concepts_root option.

Trailblazer::Loader.new.(concepts_root: "./concepts/") { |file| require_relative(file) }

Note that :concepts_root needs a trailing slash.

Mixing

Note that you’re free to mix these styles the way it feels right for your project.

For example, you can have compound files and explicit layout in one concept.

app
├── concepts
│   ├── comment
│   │   ├── contract.rb     - compound vs.
│   │   ├── operation       -  explicit directory
│   │   │   ├── create.rb
│   │   │   └── update.rb

Namespacing Operations

Normally, operations in Trailblazer use the concept’s namespace, e.g. Comment::Create, even though they can sit in an explicit file.

app
├── concepts
│   ├── comment
│   │   ├── operation       - explicit directory
│   │   │   ├── create.rb   -   contains Comment::Create
│   │   │   └── update.rb

You are free to namespace your operations, if you like that better.

module Comment::Operation
  class Create < Trailblazer::Operation

Debugging

Turn on debugging as follows.

Trailblazer::Loader.new.(debug: true) { |file| require_relative("../#{file}") }

This will print the file list before requiring them.

TODO: document PrintFiles

Booting your app fails because the loading order is incorrect? This happens, as we can’t cover every possible combination.

In any case, you can use require or require_relative and load files manually in the file depending on a specific class.

For example, say you derive in another order and you’re using the explicit layout.

require_relative "update.rb"
class Comment::Create < Comment::Update

Instead of painfully reconfiguring, require explicitly and save yourself a lot of pain. BTW, that’s how every other programming language does dependency management and even Matz is not too happy about autoloading anymore.

Customizing

Trailblazer-loader allows you to inject your own sorting and filtering logic, should you refuse to go mainstream.