Help understanding a very simple routes.db

Hi All,

I am following a Ruby on rails tutorial and everything is working but
I am struggling a bit to follow what is happening and why:

I have created the following routes.db and I just want some help
understanding what it is doing?

SampleApp::Application.routes.draw do
  get "pages/home"
  get "pages/contact"
  get "pages/about"
  get "pages/help"

  match '/contact', :to => 'pages#contact'
  match '/about', :to => 'pages#about'
  match '/help', :to => 'pages#help'

  root :to => 'pages#home'

I am in the process of reading
but it is a learning curve!

Is it saying to match '/contact' with 'pages/contact' and to get
'pages/contact'? If so what is the # for in 'pages#contact'?

Any help understanding really appreciated!



match '/contact', :to => 'pages#contact'

reads, match path '/contact' and load controller Pages and execute action 'contact'

however you can remove the comma and also ':to =>' to define the route as:

  match '/contact' => 'pages#contact'

if you run 'rake routes' you will see:

contact /contact(.:format) {:controller=>"pages", :action=>"contact"}

this tells you that the format "pages#contact" is in the form:


Ok - Thanks so I was reading it wrong! but then all that is in the
pages_controller.rb is:

class PagesController < ApplicationController

  def home
    @title = "Home"

  def contact
    @title = "Contact"

  def about
    @title = "About"

  def help
    @title = "Help"

Doesn't this just define some variables? what is the action?

i assume you're reading the "ruby on rails tutorial"?, you need to understand rails MVC conventions, i suggest you reread the early chapters =)

when a request comes in the controller is loaded and an action is run, the controller can then request the model to fetch some data, the class instance variables defined (those defined with @) in the controller are accessible from the view. rails display the view following a controller action.

request -> controller -> action -> model(optional) -> view

the view will have the same name as the action.

if you browser to ‘http://ocalhost:3000/pages/home’ then the Pages controller will be loaded and it will call the home action, which will assign a variable and then display view home.html.erb

the action are defined as ruby method using 'def/end' blocks: here the defined actions are obviously: home, contact, about and help

Thanks I am trying to keep re-reading it till it sinks in but can I
ask then:

def contact
    @title = "Contact"

If this creates 'contact' as the action (I understand the instance
variable of @title which can be seen in the view) where is it defining
what that action does or is it simply mapping to the name

In which case how does it know where to find 'contact.html.erb' is it
looping back to the 'routes.db' and checking the "get pages/contact"?

Your help is really appreciated and I hope that I am close to getting

yes each action assigns a value to a variable, you'll see other examples where real actions are defined later on! one step at a time =)

rails follows convention over configuration, read my last email and go over MVC in the tutorial, page 1

basically rails know what view to call based on the action by using the same name as the action! this is the rails convention (way of doing things!).