exactly why I don't want to use plugins yet!
(short of ruby gems like RMagick, I'm not about to even try to write a
big wrapper library like that)
Interestingly, I found that Rails in many places in my code complained
about RAILS_ROOT, so perhaps it's not accessible in certain scopes?
Which would be odd, so my fixes ended up being using File.expand_path
and File.basename respectively assigned to instance variables in order
to be sure I got the absolute path as you had suggested, and it's
still portable too.
I'm still feeling a little bad using instance variables so much in
Rails, but it keeps things visible that I need visible, and it's a lot
easier (initially at least) than passing data from method to method.
My style tends to just build methods that make the overall logic
readable like pseudo-code. Still, my abundant use of instance
variables makes me worried, because it feels like the old GOTO taboo
of many languages.