Josefa  Corwin

Josefa Corwin

1659736920

Mailboxer: A Rails Gem to Send Messages inside A Web Application

Mailboxer

This project is based on the need for a private message system for ging / social_stream. Instead of creating our core message system heavily dependent on our development, we are trying to implement a generic and potent messaging gem.

After looking for a good gem to use we noticed the lack of messaging gems and functionality in them. Mailboxer tries to fill this void delivering a powerful and flexible message system. It supports the use of conversations with two or more participants, sending notifications to recipients (intended to be used as system notifications “Your picture has new comments”, “John Doe has updated his document”, etc.), and emailing the messageable model (if configured to do so). It has a complete implementation of a Mailbox object for each messageable with inbox, sentbox and trash.

The gem is constantly growing and improving its functionality. As it is used with our parallel development ging / social_stream we are finding and fixing bugs continously. If you want some functionality not supported yet or marked as TODO, you can create an issue to ask for it. It will be great feedback for us, and we will know what you may find useful in the gem.

Mailboxer was born from the great, but outdated, code from lpsergi / acts_as_messageable.

We are now working to make exhaustive documentation and some wiki pages in order to make it even easier to use the gem to its full potential. Please, give us some time if you find something missing or ask for it. You can also find us on the Gitter room for this repo. Join us there to talk.

Installation

Add to your Gemfile:

gem 'mailboxer'

Then run:

$ bundle install

Run install script:

$ rails g mailboxer:install

And don't forget to migrate your database:

$ rake db:migrate

You can also generate email views:

$ rails g mailboxer:views

Upgrading

If upgrading from 0.11.0 to 0.12.0, run the following generators:

$ rails generate mailboxer:namespacing_compatibility
$ rails generate mailboxer:install -s

Then, migrate your database:

$ rake db:migrate

Requirements & Settings

Emails

We are now adding support for sending emails when a Notification or a Message is sent to one or more recipients. You should modify the mailboxer initializer (/config/initializer/mailboxer.rb) to edit these settings:

Mailboxer.setup do |config|
  #Enables or disables email sending for Notifications and Messages
  config.uses_emails = true
  #Configures the default `from` address for the email sent for Messages and Notifications of Mailboxer
  config.default_from = "no-reply@dit.upm.es"
  ...
end

You can change the way in which emails are delivered by specifying a custom implementation of notification and message mailers:

Mailboxer.setup do |config|
  config.notification_mailer = CustomNotificationMailer
  config.message_mailer = CustomMessageMailer
  ...
end

If you have subclassed the Mailboxer::Notification class, you can specify the mailers using a member method:

class NewDocumentNotification < Mailboxer::Notification
  def mailer_class
    NewDocumentNotificationMailer
  end
end

class NewCommentNotification < Mailboxer::Notification
  def mailer_class
    NewDocumentNotificationMailer
  end
end

Otherwise, the mailer class will be determined by appending 'Mailer' to the mailable class name.

User identities

Users must have an identity defined by a name and an email. We must ensure that Messageable models have some specific methods. These methods are:

#Returning any kind of identification you want for the model
def name
  return "You should add method :name in your Messageable model"
end
#Returning the email address of the model if an email should be sent for this object (Message or Notification).
#If no mail has to be sent, return nil.
def mailboxer_email(object)
  #Check if an email should be sent for that object
  #if true
  return "define_email@on_your.model"
  #if false
  #return nil
end

These names are explicit enough to avoid colliding with other methods, but as long as you need to change them you can do it by using mailboxer initializer (/config/initializer/mailboxer.rb). Just add or uncomment the following lines:

Mailboxer.setup do |config|
  # ...
  #Configures the methods needed by mailboxer
  config.email_method = :mailboxer_email
  config.name_method = :name
  config.notify_method = :notify
  # ...
end

You may change whatever you want or need. For example:

config.email_method = :notification_email
config.name_method = :display_name
config.notify_method = :notify_mailboxer

Will use the method notification_email(object) instead of mailboxer_email(object), display_name for name and notify_mailboxer for notify.

Using default or custom method names, if your model doesn't implement them, Mailboxer will use dummy methods so as to notify you of missing methods rather than crashing.

Preparing your models

In your model:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  acts_as_messageable
end

You are not limited to the User model. You can use Mailboxer in any other model and use it in several different models. If you have ducks and cylons in your application and you want to exchange messages as if they were the same, just add acts_as_messageable to each one and you will be able to send duck-duck, duck-cylon, cylon-duck and cylon-cylon messages. Of course, you can extend it for as many classes as you need.

Example:

class Duck < ActiveRecord::Base
  acts_as_messageable
end
class Cylon < ActiveRecord::Base
  acts_as_messageable
end

Mailboxer API

Warning for version 0.8.0

Version 0.8.0 sees Messageable#read and Messageable#unread renamed to mark_as_(un)read, and Receipt#read and Receipt#unread to is_(un)read. This may break existing applications, but read is a reserved name for Active Record, and the best pratice in this case is simply avoid using it.

How can I send a message?

#alfa wants to send a message to beta
alfa.send_message(beta, "Body", "subject")

How can I read the messages of a conversation?

As a messageable, what you receive are receipts, which are associated with the message itself. You should retrieve your receipts for the conversation and get the message associated with them.

This is done this way because receipts save the information about the relation between messageable and the messages: is it read?, is it trashed?, etc.

#alfa gets the last conversation (chronologically, the first in the inbox)
conversation = alfa.mailbox.inbox.first

#alfa gets it receipts chronologically ordered.
receipts = conversation.receipts_for alfa

#using the receipts (i.e. in the view)
receipts.each do |receipt|
  ...
  message = receipt.message
  read = receipt.is_unread? #or message.is_unread?(alfa)
  ...
end

How can I reply to a message?

#alfa wants to reply to all in a conversation
#using a receipt
alfa.reply_to_all(receipt, "Reply body")

#using a conversation
alfa.reply_to_conversation(conversation, "Reply body")
#alfa wants to reply to the sender of a message (and ONLY the sender)
#using a receipt
alfa.reply_to_sender(receipt, "Reply body")

How can I delete a message from trash?

#delete conversations forever for one receipt (still in database)
receipt.mark_as_deleted

#you can mark conversation as deleted for one participant
conversation.mark_as_deleted participant

#Mark the object as deleted for messageable
#Object can be:
  #* A Receipt
  #* A Conversation
  #* A Notification
  #* A Message
  #* An array with any of them
alfa.mark_as_deleted conversation

# get available message for specific user
conversation.messages_for(alfa)

How can I retrieve my conversations?

#alfa wants to retrieve all his conversations
alfa.mailbox.conversations

#A wants to retrieve his inbox
alfa.mailbox.inbox

#A wants to retrieve his sent conversations
alfa.mailbox.sentbox

#alfa wants to retrieve his trashed conversations
alfa.mailbox.trash

How can I paginate conversations?

You can use Kaminari to paginate the conversations as normal. Please, make sure you use the last version as mailboxer uses select('DISTINCT conversations.*') which was not respected before Kaminari 0.12.4 according to its changelog. Working correctly on Kaminari 0.13.0.

#Paginating all conversations using :page parameter and 9 per page
conversations = alfa.mailbox.conversations.page(params[:page]).per(9)

#Paginating received conversations using :page parameter and 9 per page
conversations = alfa.mailbox.inbox.page(params[:page]).per(9)

#Paginating sent conversations using :page parameter and 9 per page
conversations = alfa.mailbox.sentbox.page(params[:page]).per(9)

#Paginating trashed conversations using :page parameter and 9 per page
conversations = alfa.mailbox.trash.page(params[:page]).per(9)

You can take a look at the full documentation for Mailboxer in rubydoc.info.

Do you want to test Mailboxer?

Thanks to Roman Kushnir (@RKushnir) you can test Mailboxer with this sample app.

I need a GUI!

If you need a GUI you should take a look at these links:

Contributors


Author: mailboxer
Source code: https://github.com/mailboxer/mailboxer
License: MIT license

#ruby  #ruby-on-rails 

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