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Tag: URL

Silent change in URLs of Ruby on Rails svn repository

I don’t know why, but everything associated with Ruby on Rails seems to change all the time, without notice, or (in the case of URLs) without redirect.

We used for our svn:external deployment of rails 1.2.6. But that suddenly stopped working. The Ruby on Rails weblog doesn’t contain any information on it (that I can find), going to with my web browser yielded just the front page of the weblog and Googling didn’t help much. That is, until I accidentally found

So, I changed the svn:externals from “rails” to “rails” and now it works again.

WordPress feed pagination

Wiebe uses his author Atom feed to generate a list of his blog posts here on his own website. WordPress feeds only display the latest 10 entries. He has written 16 so far. What he needs is a feed with all his entries.

First, I tried if pagination works for feeds. Appending “/page/2” (as is used an non-feed lists) to a feed URL gives a 404 so I was kind of stuck there. Four days ago, after Googling for some time, unable to find a solution anywhere, I asked on the forum. Still no answer today so I tried to find out which parameters WordPress accepts in the QUERY_STRING. The WordPress Codex does explain how queries are handled but not which parameters are accepted.

Digging into wp-includes/query.php, with much trial and error, I found out that I can append ?paged=2 to the URL to get the next page. At least I got that sorted then. There are a number of much more promising parameters supported by get_posts(), but these don’t seem to be parsed by parse_query(). Next time, I’d like to find out how how to use two of these: nopaging and posts_per_page.

Wiebe could complete his list by merging together all the pages of the feed, but I’d much prefer to find a relatively painless method to produce a feed with an unlimited number of posts.



Allowing dots in WordPress post slugs

I was once again annoyed by the fact that WordPress doesn’t allow dots in post slugs. Luckily, this time I hadn’t published the post with a botched URL yet. (I don’t like changing permalinks because they’re meant to be permanent; cool URLs don’t change.) A quick googling pointed me to a post in the WordPress support forum with a reference to the Periods in Titles WordPress plugin.

The plugin works great and allowed me to post http:///2007/05/30/ with dots and without problems.

Nested hashes derail Rails’ url_for helpers

While working on the Sicirec PostgreSQL database front-end today, I had to pass a lot of nested parameters to a link_to helper in Rails. Software being what it is, this didn’t work.

There are a few patches awaiting acceptance. The most promising of these patches was part of an open Trac ticket. Because we use Rails as an svn external, applying the patch myself wouldn’t work when deploying unless I’d create a vendor branch for Rails in our own repository. Hoping that someone had forgotten to close the ticket, I first tried to upgrade to Rails 1.2.2, which was about time anyway because we were still in the 1.1 branch. The upgrade went fine but didn’t fix the problem.

Next, I tried to integrate the patch by redefining the methods changed by the patch in our lib/ directory. When this didn’t work, I decided to simply do some flattening of the hash myself for this one particular case.

A bit of googling around gave me many clues that the problem has cost a lot of people lots of time already.

Eventually, I settled with a derivate of some code by Peter Marklund to flatten my hashes:

class Hash
  # Flatten a hash into a flat form suitable for an URL.
  # Accepts as an optional parameter an array of names that pretend to be the ancestor key names.
  # Example 1:
  #   { 'animals' => {
  #       'fish' => { 'legs' => 0, 'sound' => 'Blub' }
  #       'cat' => { 'legs' => 4, 'sound' => 'Miaow' }
  #   }.flatten_for_url
  #   # => { 'animals[fish][legs]'  => 0,
  #          'animals[fish][sound]' => 'Blub',
  #          'animals[cat][legs]'   => 4,
  #          'animals[cat][sound]'  => 'Miaow'
  #        }
  # Example 2:
  #   {'color' => 'blue'}.flatten_for_url( %w(world things) )  # => {'world[things][color]' => 'blue'}
  def flatten_for_url(ancestor_names = [])
    flat_hash =
    each do |key, value|
      names =
      names << key
      if value.is_a?(Hash)
        flat_key = names.shift.to_s.dup
        names.each do |name|
          flat_key << "[#{name}]"
        flat_key << "[]" if value.is_a?(Array)
        flat_hash[flat_key] = value

As you can see, I turned my code into a single method of the Hash class. It can be used simply in any url_for (based) call as in the following example:

url_for {
    :controller => 'post',
    :action => 'new',
    'author' => {'name' => 'Rowan', 'gender' => 'm'}
  # => /post/new?author[name]=Rowan&author[gender]=m 

Now if only some Rails developer would commit the patch already.

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