Ruby Best Practice Patterns, by Rein Henrichs

I watched the Ruby best practice patterns presentation, given by Rein Henrichs at the Ruby Hoedown 2008. Personally, I thought it was a very long presentation (including a useless 15-minute long dive-in) to deliver a simple message. His (nevertheless important) message was that a programmer should aim to write communicative code. And the best practice patterns considerably help to reach that goal.

Here are my highlights (divided in 3 sections):

Legacy Code and Maintainability

  • your code is legacy code as soon as it is written
  • most of our time is spent maintaining that legacy code
  • software costs far more to maintain than to write
  • write code for humans, not for computers

Best Practice Patterns

  • Definition of “Best practice patterns”:

a set of techniques experts currently use to make the best decisions over and over again – Rein Henrichs

  • the best way to learn about patterns is to read through open source code, like gems

A Few of His Favorite Patterns

Pattern: Composed Method


Pattern: Execute Around

Example in Ruby:


Example in Rails (around filter):


Pattern: Yield and Return

Example in Rails (implementation of the will_paginate plugin):


Example in Rails (implementation of returning):


Example in (forthcoming) Ruby 1.9:


Pattern: Method Object

Example in Ruby:


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