user_observer (restful_authentication) causes failure in loading rails

I have restful_authentication in use on an app and it has been working
fine, but I recently was changing the account creation flow and needed
to enable the UserObserver. I did so by including it in the
environment.rb (config.active_record.observers = :user_observer) and
Rails wouldn't start.

I got the following error;
source/communitysites/vendor/rails/activerecord/lib/active_record/
base.rb:1672:in `method_missing_without_paginate': undefined method
`format_attribute' for #<Class:0x2256a14> (NoMethodError)
  from /source/communitysites/vendor/plugins/will_paginate/lib/
will_paginate/finder.rb:164:in `method_missing'
  from /source/communitysites/app/forums/models/post.rb:7
  from /source/communitysites/vendor/rails/activesupport/lib/
active_support/dependencies.rb:216:in
`load_without_new_constant_marking'
  from /source/communitysites/vendor/rails/activesupport/lib/
active_support/dependencies.rb:216:in `load_file'
  from /source/communitysites/vendor/rails/activesupport/lib/
active_support/dependencies.rb:355:in `new_constants_in'
  from /source/communitysites/vendor/rails/activesupport/lib/
active_support/dependencies.rb:215:in `load_file'
  from /source/communitysites/vendor/rails/activesupport/lib/
active_support/dependencies.rb:96:in `require_or_load'
  from /source/communitysites/vendor/rails/activesupport/lib/
active_support/dependencies.rb:261:in `load_missing_constant'
   ... 76 levels...
  from /source/communitysites/vendor/rails/activesupport/lib/
active_support/dependencies.rb:511:in `require'
  from /source/communitysites/vendor/rails/railties/lib/commands/
server.rb:39
  from script/server:3:in `require'
  from script/server:3

I get the same error when all the contents of UserObserver are
commented out, but don't get it if I load a different arbitrarily
named observer class. Adding some more debug statements to the Rails
dependencies code provided me this information;

Booting Mongrel (use 'script/server webrick' to force WEBrick)

=> Rails 2.1.0 application starting on http://0.0.0.0:3000
=> Call with -d to detach
=> Ctrl-C to shutdown server
** Starting Mongrel listening at 0.0.0.0:3000
** Starting Rails with development environment...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
([])...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
([])...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
([])...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
([])...
DEPRECATION WARNING: config.action_view.cache_template_extensions
option has been deprecated and has no affect. Please remove it from
your config files. See http://www.rubyonrails.org/deprecation for
details. (called from send at ./script/../config/../vendor/rails/
railties/lib/initializer.rb:464)
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
([])...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
(["Post"])...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
(["Post"])...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
(["Forum"])...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
(["Post"])...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
(["Post"])...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
(["Forum"])...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
(["User"])...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
(["RAILS_GEM_VERSION", "RedHillConsulting", "Technoweenie",
"RAILS_DEFAULT_LOGGER", "NR_CONFIG_FILE", "RPM_AGENT_ENABLED",
"RPM_DEVELOPER", "RPM_TRACERS_ENABLED", "RAILS_CACHE"])...
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
([])...
Exiting
Error while attempting to load ''. Removing partially loaded constants
(["OPTIONS"])...

After which I get the error. I am not very familiar with the Rails
internals since I am fairly new to the platform as well as the Ruby
language. Any tips on approaches for troubleshooting this (apparent
dependencies issue) would be greatly appreciated.

Kevin

It appears since the observer is setup and loads the observed class
(User) and my User class has_many posts my post class from Beast gets
loaded. Looking through the code I found the format_attribute class
called in the Post class is defined in forums.rb file in my lib
directory.

In railties/lib/initializer.rb it seems load_observers is pretty much
the last thing called in initialization. However, obviously lib must
get processed later in order to produce the error I am getting. I now
just need to figure out how to get lib processed earlier or instead of
config.active_record.observers use UserObserver.instance somewhere
where it will get called after lib gets processed. It appears that a
UserObserver.instance call at the end of the forums.rb is a quick way
to get around this, but far from clean/intuitive/well organized. Any
recommendations on where the best place to handle this is?