How can I render a template outside of a controller in Rails 3?

Hi All,

I can’t seem to render a template outside of a controller in my Rails 3 application. The googling I’ve done has been helpful, and I eventually found some useful info at http://www.swombat.com/rails-rendering-templates-outside-of-a-contro. However, this seems to be broken in Rails 3. Does anyone have any ideas how I can fix this method or perhaps know of a better approach?

My method:

  def render_erb(template_path, params) 
   view = ActionView::Base.new(ActionController::Base.view_paths, {}) 
   
   class << view 
    include ApplicationHelper 

   end 
   
   view.render(:file => "#{template_path}.html.erb", :locals => params) 
  end

The error:

ActionView::Template::Error: ActionView::Template::Error

    from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/activesupport-3.0.0/lib/active_support/whiny_nil.rb:48:in `method_missing'
    from /Users/mikegerstenblatt/Desktop/bluetrain/lib/test.html.erb:17:in `_lib_test_html_erb__366962844_2173671680_68830'

    from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/actionpack-3.0.0/lib/action_view/template.rb:135:in `send'
    from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/actionpack-3.0.0/lib/action_view/template.rb:135:in `render'
    from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/activesupport-3.0.0/lib/active_support/notifications.rb:54:in `instrument'

    from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/actionpack-3.0.0/lib/action_view/template.rb:127:in `render'
    from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/actionpack-3.0.0/lib/action_view/render/rendering.rb:59:in `_render_template'

    from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/activesupport-3.0.0/lib/active_support/notifications.rb:52:in `instrument'
    from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/activesupport-3.0.0/lib/active_support/notifications/instrumenter.rb:21:in `instrument'

    from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/activesupport-3.0.0/lib/active_support/notifications.rb:52:in `instrument'
    from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/actionpack-3.0.0/lib/action_view/render/rendering.rb:56:in `_render_template'

    from /Library/Ruby/Gems/1.8/gems/actionpack-3.0.0/lib/action_view/render/rendering.rb:26:in `render'
    from /Users/mikegerstenblatt/Desktop/bluetrain/app/models/generated_website.rb:45:in `render_erb'

    from (irb):2

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike

mgerstenblatt@gmail.com wrote in post #955787:

Hi All,

I can't seem to render a template outside of a controller in my Rails 3
application.

[...]

Why would you ever want to? That's a sure sign that you're trying to
break MVC.

Best,

I’m aware of breaking the MVC paradigm, however I’m trying to generate a json file used later by an application.

Please quote when replying.

mgerstenblatt@gmail.com wrote in post #955803:

I'm aware of breaking the MVC paradigm,

Again: don't do that. There is almost never an actual need to do so.

however I'm trying to generate a
json file used later by an application.

Why do you need a JSON file "used later"? What are you trying to
achieve?

If you need to, then I recommend doing this with a Rake task or
script/runner script that works with the Rails MVC architecture rather
than against it.

Best,

Why do you need a JSON file “used later”? What are you trying to
achieve?

I’m generting static html content to be used outside of a rails application.

mgerstenblatt@gmail.com wrote in post #955827:

Why do you need a JSON file "used later"? What are you trying to
achieve?

I'm generting static html content to be used outside of a rails
application.

OK, now I'm confused. Are you generating HTML or JSON? Is this sort of
a data export feature? What's the workflow like? I'm trying to figure
out the best place to put this in a Rails context.

Best,

Based on your other emails it seems you want this file to be saved for some 3rd-party use later on.

Why not just… curl ‘http://yourdomain.com/path/to/view’ > saved.html

If you’re going outside of Rails, make life easy and go all the way :slight_smile:

Great idea Phillip. Is there a way I can call curl from the rails app and save the output to a designated area within the app directory?