link_to & others really necessary?

One of the areas where I think Rails goes too far is in many of the helpers that (AFAICT) do nothing more than change the syntax used to write simple HTML tags. link_to and many of the form tags come to mind.

For me, these helpers aren't that helpful. I find the HTML much clearer to write and read, I don't see any added value in the overhead costs of using code to generate a simple HTML tag. I have written several code generators for complicated stuff like producing sortable, paginated lists, so I'm not against generating HTML, just not generating individual tags.

So, before I dismiss them entirely, what's the argument for using them?

-- gw

Greg Willits wrote:

One of the areas where I think Rails goes too far is in many of the helpers that (AFAICT) do nothing more than change the syntax used to write simple HTML tags. link_to and many of the form tags come to mind.

For me, these helpers aren't that helpful. I find the HTML much clearer to write and read, I don't see any added value in the overhead costs of using code to generate a simple HTML tag. I have written several code generators for complicated stuff like producing sortable, paginated lists, so I'm not against generating HTML, just not generating individual tags.

So, before I dismiss them entirely, what's the argument for using them?

-- gw
  
I guess it's easier to read for one (IMHO) but doesn't link_to also allow you to create a link that's a little more complex without thinking about it, e.g. considering the controller and the action and the popups and the confirms (OK, I'm just reading this off the API) and the method (POST, delete, etc.) Also, I can't remember if it takes care of routes also...

Either way, I guess you can ignore (dismiss) it till it you need it :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Mohit.
11/6/2007 | 2:00 AM.

One of the areas where I think Rails goes too far is in many of the
helpers that (AFAICT) do nothing more than change the syntax used to
write simple HTML tags. link_to and many of the form tags come to mind.

For me, these helpers aren't that helpful. I find the HTML much
clearer to write and read, I don't see any added value in the
overhead costs of using code to generate a simple HTML tag. I have
written several code generators for complicated stuff like producing
sortable, paginated lists, so I'm not against generating HTML, just
not generating individual tags.

So, before I dismiss them entirely, what's the argument for using them?

Not having to remember as much syntax for one, and knowing that if
prototype changes it's API, I (most likely) won't have to change my view
code...

This:

   <% form_remote_tag :url => {:controller => 'home',
   :action => 'get_email'},
   :update => 'notice',
   :loading => "Element.show('indicator');",
   :complete => "Element.hide('indicator');" do %>

vs this:

   <form action="/home/get_email" method="post" onsubmit="new
   Ajax.Updater('notice', '/home/get_email', {asynchronous:true,
   evalScripts:true,
   onComplete:function(request){Element.hide('indicator');},
   onLoading:function(request){Element.show('indicator');},
   parameters:Form.serialize(this)}); return false;">

Also link to will parse the arguments and build the appropriate route
which your handcoded link won't.

Most of the form tags will automatically set/check/etc the value if appropriate.

The asset tag helpers get you the file modification builtin and let you easily use asset hosts.

But you're certainly not required to use them :slight_smile:

-philip

The link_to and friends really are one of the best things about the application.

link_to “Home”, :action=>“public”, :controller=>“index”

That’s nice, because it will build /public/index/ for me, no matter what level of my app I’m in. I don’t have to worry about parent paths, nested structures, etc.

But it gets better. If I define a named route in routes.rb

map.home ‘’, :controller=>“public”, :action=>“index”

Now, without changing links, the link_to example I used above will render a link to /

And now that I have a named route, I can shorten that code to

link_to “Home”, home_url

That’s even better, because now someone might come along and decide that the homepage needs to be moved into a different controller, like “main” because they don’t like “public”

So I just change the route

map.home ‘’, :controller=>“main”, :action=>“index”

And all my links change.

How’s that?