Coming back to rails

I’ve worked with rails previously before , but that was a long time back and even though I’ve continued to dabble with it, I’d never built anything complete or large enough with it. This time, however, I’m working on an actual large-scale application with all the nuts-and-bolts that make rails such a pleasure to work with. Since I’m coming back to rails after such a long time, I thought I’d document some of the cool new features that I’ve found in rails this time around.


One of the major discomforts of working with rails on the command line was that it is heavy and slow. Spring works behind the scenes on the second issue, namely speed. Here’s how the project’s README describes itself:

Spring is a Rails application preloader. It speeds up development by keeping your application running in the background so you don’t need to boot it every time you run a test, rake task or migration.

You can update all the binaries in your PROJECT_ROOT/bin/ directory (which include rails, bundle and rake) to make use of spring by executing the following command:

bundle exec spring binstub --all

Any further execs (such as ./bin/rake -T) will make use of the spring pre-loader leading to much faster startup times. You can even use spring against the default system binaries by prefixing the commands with spring, such as spring rake -T.


I needed a job queue for background tasks and polling API services, and what better tool to use than resque. I’m using it in combination with resque-scheduler for running tasks on cron. How it works is that in addition to your main rails server and a long running resque job process, a separate resque-scheduler rake task is kept running, which loads up the schedule and inserts tasks accordingly into the resque queue as per the schedule.

For those new to resque in general, you can start the two processes by:

QUEUE=* rake environment resque:work #To start resque
rake resque:scheduler

Note that we are pre-loading the rails environment in the resque:work task as it will load rails for you across all of your tasks. Also note that you will need the following two lines in your Rakefile to get these tasks to run:

require 'resque/tasks'
require 'resque/scheduler/tasks'

Also remember to define the resque:setup task according to the resque-scheduler README, which would load the schedule and config as needed.

This blog post is a work-in-progress and I will continue to update it with bits of rails-foo as I learn more.


I’d never tried using notes before, and as it turns out, using rake:notes is easy and super-awesome. Its allows you to spread your notes about TODOs, FIXMEs and such throughout your codebase and take a bird-eye’s look at them with just a single command.

Read more about it at

Published on July 11, 2014