Sasha  Roberts

Sasha Roberts


Motorhead: A Prototyping Framework for Rails


Motorhead is a prototyping framework for Rails. It's something akin to "feature toggle". It can be used for "A/B testing" as well. But essentially, the main purpose of this framework is to provide a way to rapidly and safely deliver new features to the production environment.


Bundle into your Rails app.


Isolated Engine

Motorhead helps you mounting specially creafted Isolated Engines onto the main Rails app. An engine can contain whole MVC components, which means that you can encapsulate everything that are needed for your new feature under one single directory. This helps your team creating multiple new features simultaneously without causing code conflict.

Conditional Execution

Each Motorhead engine can be configured to be enabled/disabled. The condition is not just a flag but can be a Ruby Proc which will be dynamically evaluated on each request in the controller context.


If any RuntimeError happens inside an engine on the production environment, Motorhead absorbs the error and executes the appropriate fallback code so that the end users would never even notice the occurrence of the error.

Extending Action Methods in the Main App

Motorhead provides an interface to override the main app's controller actions.

Partially Extending Views in the Main App

Motorhead provides a hook to partially overwrite any part of your existing view.


├── Gemfile
├── Gemfile.lock
├── Rakefile
├── app
│   ├── assets
│   ├── controllers
│   ├── engines
│   │   ├── my_awesome_new_feature
│   │   │   ├── app
│   │   │   │   ├── assets
│   │   │   │   ├── controllers
│   │   │   │   │   └── my_awesome_new_feature
│   │   │   │   │       └── welcome_controller.rb
│   │   │   │   ├── helpers
│   │   │   │   │   └── my_awesome_new_feature
│   │   │   │   │       └── welcome_helper.rb
│   │   │   │   ├── mailers
│   │   │   │   ├── models
│   │   │   │   └── views
│   │   │   │       ├── layouts
│   │   │   │       │   └── my_awesome_new_feature
│   │   │   │       │       └── application.html.erb
│   │   │   │       └── my_awesome_new_feature
│   │   │   │           └── welcome
│   │   │   ├── config
│   │   │   │   └── routes.rb
│   │   │   ├── lib
│   │   │   │   ├── my_awesome_new_feature
│   │   │   │   │   └── engine.rb
│   │   │   │   ├── my_awesome_new_feature.rb
│   │   │   │   └── tasks
│   │   │   ├── my_awesome_new_feature.gemspec
│   │   │   └── test
│   │   └── yet_another_new_feature
│   │       ├── app
│   │       ...
│   ├── helpers
│   ├── mailers
│   ├── models
│   └── views
├── bin
├── config
├── db



Put active_if directive inside the Engine class. The whole engine will only be executed if the block is evaluated to be truthy on runtime.


# app/engines/my_awesome_new_feature/config/routes.rb
module MyAwesomeNewFeature
  class Engine < ::Rails::Engine
    include Motorhead::Engine

    # this whole engine will be executed only when logged in as admin users
    active_if { current_user.admin? }

You can configure a path to mount the Engine via mount_at directive. This value is defaulted to "/", which means the Engine routes will be mixed into the main app's routes.


# app/engines/my_awesome_new_feature/config/routes.rb
module MyAwesomeNewFeature
  class Engine < ::Rails::Engine
    include Motorhead::Engine

    # all routes inside this Engine will be prefixed by "/harley"
    mount_at 'harley'


All routes in engines' routes.rb will be automatically prepended to the main app's Routes.


Controllers can be a normal Engine controller. Or, you can craft a controller class inheriting a controller that exists in the main app, and overriding some action methods. From inside the actions in engines, you can call the main app's action via super.


# app/engines/my_awesome_new_feature/app/controllers/my_awesome_new_feature/welcome_controller.rb
class MyAwesomeNewFeature::WelcomeController < ::WelcomeController
  include Motorhead::Controller

  def index
    # invoking the main app's action first

    # adding some more business logic
    @notifications = Notification.for current_user


When an engine renders the views, it looks up app/views/ENGINE_NAME/ directory first, then the main app's view directory next. This way you can overwrite views per template/partial file. Also, Motorhead adds new :engine option to render method, which enables you to explicitly inject a piece of HTML from an engine into any place of the app. render :engine takes an `ENGINE_NAME/view_path' parameter.


# app/engines/my_awesome_new_feature/app/views/my_awesome_new_feature/welcome/_index.html.haml
  Some contents for new feature

# app/views/welcome/index.html.haml
= render engine: 'my_awesome_new_feature/welcome/index' do
  Some contents that will be shown by default


Motorhead provides some handy code generators.

Generating an engine

% rails g motorhead ENGINE_NAME


% rails g motorhead my_awesome_new_feature

This generates a motorhead Engine in ~/app/engines/my_awesome_new_feature/ directory.

Generating an engine + a controller extension that extends an existing controller

% rails g motorhead ENGINE_NAME CONTROLLER_NAME [action action] [options]


% rails g motorhead my_awesome_new_feature welcome index

This generates a motorhead Engine in ~/app/engines/my_awesome_new_feature/ directory. Plus, a controller that extends WelcomeController and implements index action inside the Engine.

Managing Engines

Motorhead includes a tiny admin console Engine call "RoadCrew" through which you can easily enable/disable each mounted Engine. To use this, require 'motorhead/road_crew' when bundling motorhead gem in your Gemfile:

# Gemfile
gem 'motorhead', path: '~/src/motorhead', require: ['motorhead', 'motorhead/road_crew']

then render the road_crew/button Engine partial to put a button inside somewhere in your view (usually in the header or footer?):

# app/views/layouts/application.html.erb
<%= render engine: 'road_crew/button' %>

You might also want to configure the RoadCrew Engine's active_if directive for security.

# config/initializers/mh_road_crew.rb
RoadCrew::Engine.active_if { current_user.admin? }


Pull requests are welcome on GitHub at


Better generator

Model extension


Special Thanks

This product is deeply inspired by Chanko.

Author: amatsuda
Source code:
License: MIT license

#ruby  #ruby-on-rails 

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Motorhead: A Prototyping Framework for Rails

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Marcelle  Smith

Marcelle Smith


Authenticating Your API Using "Knock Gem" in Rails

Due to the inability to generate a well-defined way to authenticate rails API, I have sourced out this information in order to help me and you have a way of authenticating our rails API token. This tutorial would be based on the latest version (6.0) of Ruby on Rails.

In getting this set up as well as up and doing, the few steps through which the processes would be implemented are listed below:

Step 1:

We would need to, first of all, generate a new rails app as we embark on the journey. Follow the example given below:

$ rails new sample-app --api -d=postgresql -T
$ cd sample-app
$ rails db:create
$ rails db:migrate

Step 2:

In order to gain access to the API, we would need to uncomment or remove Cors gems as that serves as permission into gaining access to the API

gem “rack-cors”

After uncommented the gem ‘rack-cors’ then we run this command below

$ bundle install

#ruby-on-rails #rails #rails-api #knock-gem #ruby #software-development #rails-only-api

Emily Johnson


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Shardul Bhatt

Shardul Bhatt


Why should we use Ruby on Rails for Software Development?

What is Rails, Ruby on Rails?

Rails is a server-side web application development framework written in the Ruby programming language. Its emergence in 2005 has influenced and impacted web application development to a vast range, including but not limited to seamless database tables, migrations, and scaffolding of views. In the simplest understanding, Rails is a highly productive and intuitive software developer. 

Websites and applications of any complexity can be achieved with Ruby on Rails. The software is designed to perceive the needs of ruby on rails developers and encourage them with the best way out. It is designed to allow developers to write lesser code while spiking productivity much more than any other framework or language. Ruby on Rails rapid application development offers everyday web development tasks easier and uniquely out-of-the-box, both with the same effectiveness.

The Ruby on Rails framework is based on two philosophies:


  • Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY): It is a software development principle that ensures that every piece or entity of knowledge must be assigned with a single and unambiguous representation within a development system.

    It not only reduces the need to write lengthy codes but also eliminates the repetitive writing of codes. As a result, it provides a much more manageable web app development with the least possible bugs.


  • Convention over Configuration (CoC): It indicates the highly opinionated feature that the Ruby on Rails framework possesses. It offers ready-made solutions or the “best way out” for many tasks in a web application and defaults them to the convention without the need for external specification. The programmer using the software is required to specify only the unconventional aspects of the web application. 

Some of the commonly known websites built by the Ruby on Rails software developers are Instacart, Scribd, Shopify, Github, ConvertKit, Soundcloud, GoodReads, Airbnb. It finds its application in Sa-as Solutions, Social Networking Platforms, Dating websites, Stock Exchange Platforms, etc.  

Read more: Why Ruby on Rails is Perfect for eCommerce Web Development

Why use Ruby on Rails: The multifold benefits

  • Community and its abundant resources 

    • There is a large community that is dedicated to Ruby on Rails that keeps it up-to-date and indeed encourages its family of developers to continue using it. They make sure the benefits are soaring with every update they make. 

    • The community is committed to developing several ready-to-use code packages, commonly known as gems, for its users. They discuss and announce new project launches, help each other with queries, and engage in framework discussions and betterment. While Ruby on Rails helps developers in rapid application development, it also connects and grows businesses together.

  • Project Scalability

    • To talk about scalability, we indicate the ability to grow and manage more and more user requests per minute (RPM). However, this depends on the architecture rather than the framework. The right architecture of Ruby on Rails web application development allows it to write bulky codes and programs as compared to early-stage difficulties with scalability. 

    • It uses the Representational State Transfer (REST) architecture. This will enable Rails to create efficient web applications based on Rails 6, launched last year in 2020, which addresses most scalability issues. The portable components are agile and help in a better understanding of new requirements and needful adaptations for any business. The framework and architecture allow both vertical and horizontal scalability.

  • Fast Application Development and Cost Effectiveness

    • Ruby on Rails is lucid, logical, and has lean code requirements, thereby cutting down redundancy and improving the overall development speed. Lesser amount of code is proportional to lesser time investment with optimal results. The more time it takes for development, the more expensive it becomes for the end customers.

    • Considering the ready-made code modules/packages (gems) available, Ruby on Rails development company will less time and money are spent creating and modifying Rails websites and applications. Another advantage that has made Ruby on Rails super attractive for startups is its use of Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. It has a component separation scheme that speeds up the web development process and fixes any errors that occur.  

  • Data Protection

    • Rails framework and the Ruby on Rails community put in a lot of efforts for data protection and security of its customer base. It is also one of the efficient frameworks for developing database-backed applications. 

    • The developers at Ruby on Rails cover many aspects of cybersecurity, including encryptions of  passwords, credit card information, and users’ personal database. Special measures are taken to prevent the framework from SQL injections and XSS attacks. 

  • Ruby on Rails Enterprise Application Development

    • Ruby on Rails simplifies the daily operations and lowers the cost of enterprise app developments. The prominent features include data management, seamless updating of applications, easy and efficient code development, and high scalability, as discussed above. 

    • Ruby on Rails enterprise application development is preferred by companies and is slightly cost-intensive. It can be easily integrated with third-party apps like Oracle Business, Oracle, Windows services, and others. Ruby enterprise app development allows the developers and programmers to solve the problems at the root level, given its transparency.

Ruby on Rails V/S Django

Checkout Blog on Django vs Ruby on Rails Comparison

Bottom Line

There are several reasons to prefer Ruby on Rails discussed above and extend further to early detection of errors, reduced time to market, and easy adaptation for API developments. It makes web programming much easier and simplifies website building of any complexity. Its flexibility and acceptance among new developers and programmers make it the perfect, one-stop choice for software application development company in 2021. 


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