The most valuable usage for scaffolding is when you use it in the administration part of the site. The administration is usually separated in separate module/folder.

The new rails scaffolding is not good because:

  • It is time taking to setup nested scaffold
  • I have tons of uselss source code in the scaffolding like respond_to ... that is usable very rare or never.
  • The HTML that is generated is ugly and not usable for CSS skin
  • Not using the nice ruby style iterations .each instead of for's
  • Code repetition, the “new” and the “edit” views has the same form elements
  • Not easy to find documentation

I find Akita article for scaffolding. It is is great that he has covered some real cases. It is a lot of reading and I must read/copy/paste every time I need to make a scaffold. Here is step by step on making scaffold for administration.

  • ruby script/generate scaffold admin::BadArticle NOT PLURAL!
    • user:references
    • description:text,string
    • fixed:boolean
    • timestamps are automaticaly added
  • Add in routes.rb
    • map.namespace :admin do |admin|
        admin.resources :bad_articles
  • Model
    • Rename admin::BadArticles -> BadArticle,
    • move it to the model directory
    • rename the file
  • Fix the migration file:
    • remove the prefix from the migration class,
    • remove the prefix from table name
    • rename the file
  • URL references
    • admin_bad_articles_url
    • redirect_to([:admin, bad_article])
  • Controller
    • rename all Admin::BadArticles -> BadArticle except in the controller name
    • Probably you will want to make your scaffold inhired your base admin controller
    • def create
         format.html { redirect_to([:admin, @filtered_url]) }
    • def update
              format.html { redirect_to([:admin, @filtered_url]) }
    • class Admin::BadArticlesController < ApplicationController
      class Admin::BadArticlesController < Admin::AuthController
        layout 'admin'
       (in case that you don't have it in the base controller)
    • def index
        @admin_bad_articles = BadArticle.find(:all)
        respond_to do |format|
          format.html # index.html.erb
          format.xml  { render :xml => @admin_bad_articles }
  • Index.rhtml.erb
    • <td><%= link_to 'Edit', edit_admin_bad_article_path(bad_articles) %></td>
    • <%= link_to 'New bad_articles', new_admin_bad_articles_path %>
  • edit.rhtm
    • <%= link_to 'Show', @bad_article %> |
      <%= link_to 'Back',bad_articles_path %><%= link_to 'Show', [:admin, @bad_article_url] %> |
      <%= link_to 'Back', admin_bad_articles_path %>
  • show.html.erb
    • <%= link_to 'Edit', edit_filtered_url_path(@filtered_url) %> |
      <%= link_to 'Back', filtered_urls_path %>
  • new.rhtml
    • <% form_for(@bad_article) do |f| %><% form_for([:admin, @bad_article]) do |f| %>
    • <%= link_to 'Back', bad_articles_path %><%= link_to 'Back', admin_bad_articles_path %>


The order of the routes in routes.rb does matter! In order to make the REST work you must have this block at the bottom of your routes.rb like this:

map.namespace :admin do |admin|
  admin.resources :bad_articles
# Install the default route as the lowest priority.
map.connect ':controller/:action/:id.:format'
map.connect ':controller/:action/:id'

Remove simply_helpful plugin if you get the error:

undefined method `new_record?' for #Array:0x532a3e8

Debuging tools:

rake routes


How to add custom actions to the REST

map.namespace :admin do |admin|
  admin..esources :bad_articles, :member => {:toggle => :get}
  admin.resources :orders, :member => { :resend => :post }
  admin.resources :users,  :collection => { :filter => :any }

Then in the controller:

def toggle
  @bad_article = BadArticle.find(params[:id])
  @bad_article.fixed = ! @bad_article.fixed
  redirect_to  admin_bad_articles_url

And in the view:

<%= toggle_admin_bad_article_url(filtered_url) %>

More reading here