In routes.rb one defines URL-to-controller mappings, but the reverse is also possible: an URL can be generated from one of your routing definitions. URL generation functionality is centralized in this module.
Tip: If you need to generate URLs from your models or some other place, then ActionController::UrlWriter is what you’re looking for. Read on for an introduction.
URL generation from parameters
As you may know, some functions - such as ActionController::Base#url_for and ActionView::Helpers::UrlHelper#link_to, can generate URLs given a set of parameters. For example, you’ve probably had the chance to write code like this in one of your views:
<%= link_to('Click here', :controller => 'users', :action => 'new', :message => 'Welcome!') %> #=> Generates a link to: /users/new?message=Welcome%21
link_to, and all other functions that require URL generation functionality, actually use ActionController::UrlWriter under the hood. And in particular, they use the ActionController::UrlWriter#url_for method. One can generate the same path as the above example by using the following code:
include UrlWriter url_for(:controller => 'users', :action => 'new', :message => 'Welcome!', :only_path => true) # => "/users/new?message=Welcome%21"
Notice the :only_path => true part. This is because UrlWriter has no information about the website hostname that your Rails app is serving. So if you want to include the hostname as well, then you must also pass the :host argument:
include UrlWriter url_for(:controller => 'users', :action => 'new', :message => 'Welcome!', :host => 'www.example.com') # Changed this. # => "http://www.example.com/users/new?message=Welcome%21"
By default, all controllers and views have access to a special version of url_for, that already knows what the current hostname is. So if you use url_for in your controllers or your views, then you don’t need to explicitly pass the :host argument.
For convenience reasons, mailers provide a shortcut for ActionController::UrlWriter#url_for. So within mailers, you only have to type ‘url_for’ instead of ‘ActionController::UrlWriter#url_for’ in full. However, mailers don’t have hostname information, and what’s why you’ll still have to specify the :host argument when generating URLs in mailers.
URL generation for named routes
UrlWriter also allows one to access methods that have been auto-generated from named routes. For example, suppose that you have a ‘users’ resource in your routes.rb:
This generates, among other things, the method users_path. By default, this method is accessible from your controllers, views and mailers. If you need to access this auto-generated method from other places (such as a model), then you can do that in two ways.
The first way is to include ActionController::UrlWriter in your class:
class User < ActiveRecord::Base include ActionController::UrlWriter # !!! def name=(value) write_attribute('name', value) write_attribute('base_uri', users_path) # !!! end end
The second way is to access them through ActionController::UrlWriter. The autogenerated named routes methods are available as class methods:
class User < ActiveRecord::Base def name=(value) write_attribute('name', value) path = ActionController::UrlWriter.users_path # !!! write_attribute('base_uri', path) # !!! end end
I’ve been upgradings an app to Rails 3 and it took me a bit to find this-
If you were using
to get the url helpers in rails 2, you should switch to
for Rails 3