This article is deprecated.I've marked this article as deprecated. It is either because the gem or plugin discussed in this article is no longer maintained, or I've changed my opinion on it. This article is here only as an historic reference.
I know tweakers.net has it, I liked it,
and I wanted it for myself. The uris of news items are like this:
First you get the id, than you get a nice version of the title ending with .html. This is a nice way of making links, scoring high for a googlebot and is incredibly easy to read.
I first tried to use only the title as an identifier. Now normally there would be a problem with
having titles in your uri. First of all you might want to have special characters in your title.
Rails automatically converts them back into the characters they are when evaluating the routes, so
it would result in this problem:
/news/my%2Ftitle.html would evaluate to
which the Rails Router doesn't understand.
Besides, it doesn't look good. But when changing the title to
my-title.html, just for output,
there is no good way of getting it back to the original title. Even more problematic is
my-title would lead to the same page. I concluded that you'll definitely need an id in your
uri. But how would I have the title in it then?
The solution is a nice named route, like this one:
map.news 'news/:id/*nice_url', :controller => 'news', :action => 'show'
Now to get the title to appear automatically, so you don't have to code it every time you make a link. Go to the model and add this method:
def to_param self.id.to_s+'/'+self.title.gsub(/\W/, '-').squeeze('-').downcase+'.html' end
Now every time you use
news_url(@news) it adds the title nicely formatted. One downside though:
Because it is a parameter Ruby converts it to
%2F. As it should, I might add. But in this case we
don't want it, it looks silly. But it works. Fixing this is a bit tricky. You must overload the
link_to function. I've done it like this:
def link_to(text, link, *options) super(text, convert_nice_url(link), *options) end private def bare_path(txt) txt.sub(/^\/*/, '/').sub(index_url,'') end def convert_nice_url(link) link = url_for(link) unless link.is_a?(String) rs = ::ActionController::Routing::Routes segments = rs.recognize_path(bare_path(link)) has_nice_url = false rs.named_routes.routes.each do |key,value| has_nice_url = true if value.defaults.has_value?(segments[:controller]) and value.defaults.has_value?(segments[:action]) and value.defaults.include?(:nice_url) end link.gsub!("%2F","/") if has_nice_url return link rescue ::ActionController::RoutingError return link end
It looks if your route has the parameter
nice_url and in that case it replaces
%2F with genuine
forward slashes. You might want to do this for
redirect_to as well.
routes.rb, don't forget to add a named route called index, pointing to
'', as a
default route. This script needs that. Furthermore, you need to make the default of the parameter
nice_url nil. This is the final version of routes.rb:
map.index '', :controller => 'news', :action=>'index' map.news 'news/:id/*nice_url', :controller => 'news', :action => 'show', :nice_url => nil
Update 2: I will be following up on this item, to properly implement this. Come back again later!