Been too long since I wrote an article about coding related stuff, so might as well write about the the trip to Phoenix, Arizona and attending the Railsconf 2017!

For me it was the first time that I actually attended the Railsconf. I’ve always been going to Euruko instead, which is hosted in a different country each year across Europe. Adding to my first attendance for Railsconf, it was also the very first time that I visited the US. Honestly, this has changed my view on the US completely, in a positive way, as I had a very pleasant experience in Phoenix.

Down to the points!

Form Objects

I’m not really a fan of them. Mostly because of the way they have been (ab)used in our application really. I understand the point behind them, and I can even identify cases in our application where using a form object makes sense. Especially when the page is displaying a compound of 3 to 4 entities into a single one. A Form object really shines at places like this.

At the Railsconf, there was a talk about Form objects using Reform. I do not like Reform. I have a big problem with Reform on how they even implement certain things, and their DSL is honestly a complete mess. Combine this with the issues they have every upgrade as well as their clear approach from stepping away from Rails, I spend more time making Reform work inside our Rails application then actually adding useful functionality.

For me a Form Object should be written simple. Do it on your own, but be on your own. You can include the various methods for ActiveRecord and ActiveSupport so that you have validations and can mimic the behaviour of a basic model.

Strong Parameters

Many people, including a large part of the team I work in seems to have a major issue with Strong Parameters in Rails. And honestly I don’t understand why. I find the usage of these parameters rather straightforward and simple, as long as you keep your forms straightforward and simple.

Things get complicated when you are using dynamic parameters or deeply nested structures on your forms. But really, are you going the right way then with such structures?

Rails 5.1

Yup, it’s released. Announced by Aaron Patterson during the final keynote. (Which was simply hilarious to follow). I’m still in the process of upgrading our application to 5.0, which honestly is a journey in itself:

  • Implementing the new standards
  • Getting rid of all deprecation warnings
  • Dealing with the breaking changes
  • Dealing with the undocumented changes (I’m looking at your hash operations)
  • Making sure it all works

I think I’m almost done with it now, and then can progress to the next version, but seriously, updating a massive application that runs in production to the next Rails version is always a big thing.

Convention over Configuration

I’m really happy this got hammered once more at the conference. Many people seem to forget that the goal of Ruby on Rails is “programmer happiness”. We don’t need boilerplate code, or dozens of rules and regulations to program something out.

We want a convention, a guideline on how it works and people sticking to it. A happy programmer is a productive programmer.


Well, that’s all for now.
Just wanted to write this out, and hopefully soon I can write a dedicated article about upgrading from Rails 4 to Rails 5, and all the quirks you need to keep in mind while jumping through the different hoops.