A fresh Rails application is pretty fast. But if you’re like me, you’ve found a few little gems that help you when you’re in the console. Personally, I use:
- awesome_print: Inspect objects without hurting your eyes.
- hirb: View your ActiveModel objects in table format when possible.
- looksee: Examine where an object gets its methods.
So let’s say we’ve discovered something we want available in our Rails console.
For it to be available in your Bundler-only Rails environment, it will need to
be listed in the
group :development do gem 'awesome_print' gem 'hirb' gem 'looksee' end
Now you can launch a new console to
until your heart is content. Wunderbar! Until we try to load our application in
a browser. In a small app with a number of popular plugins, it can normally take
about 500ms on a modest machine to load a simple page due to the reloading
Rails does to get your latest code. When we add these, that time more than
So what gives? Our logs show the time hasn’t changed, but Firebug shows the times
are closer to 1300ms now. A little digging reveals that awesome_print is the
primary culprit, and removing it boosts my load times back up almost to what they
used to be. But I love
awesome_print and don’t want to lose it! After investigating
rails-dev-boost (which improved load times tremendously but had a few issues where
it wouldn’t find a file has been updated), I realized since they’re in our
Rails will require them when refreshing the environment. We can disable that trivially:
group :development do gem 'awesome_print', :require => false gem 'hirb', :require => false gem 'looksee', :require => false end
To avoid having to
require them every time we load our console, just add it
begin require "ap" IRB::Irb.class_eval do def output_value ap @context.last_value end end rescue LoadError end begin require 'hirb' require 'hirb/import_object' Hirb.enable extend Hirb::Console rescue LoadError end begin require 'looksee/shortcuts' rescue LoadError end
And voila! Our development-mode page load times don’t suffer and we get to leverage some awesome helpers in the console.
By the way, thanks for reading my inaugural blog post!