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Action Pack Partial Templates

In this tenth part of a multi-part series on the Action Pack library for Rails, you'll learn what partials are and how they can save you a lot of time and effort. This article is excerpted from chapter six of the book Beginning Rails: From Novice to Professional, written by Jeffery Allan Hardy, Cloves Carneiro Jr. and Hampton Catlin (Apress; ISBN: 1590596862).

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May 19, 2011
  1. · Action Pack Partial Templates
  2. · Automatic Local Variable Assignment in Partials

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Action Pack Partial Templates - Automatic Local Variable Assignment in Partials
(Page 2 of 2 )

Partials are distinct by virtue of a convenience convention: the value of an instance vari able with the same name as the partial will be available to the partial as a local variable. So, if you have a partial named _albums and an instance variable named @albums , youíll get a local variable called albums inside the partial.

Our form example doesnít do a very good job of illustrating this feature. Consider instead the following example, where we have all the necessary ingredients: an instance variable and a partial, both named articles .

class ArticlesController < ApplicationController def index @articles = Article.find(:all) end end

Hereís a list template ( app/views/articles/list.rhtml ) that renders the _ articles partial:

<h1>Articles > <%= render :partial => 'articles' %>

And hereís the _articles partial ( app/views/articles/_articles.rhtml ):

<ul> <% for article in articles %> <li><%= article.title %></li> <% end %> </ul>

The @articles instance variable that was initialized in the index action is available in the partial as the local variable articles because the partial is named articles . See the pattern here?

This behavior might seem a little too magical for purists, but itís a great example of how Rails goes out of its way to save you the tedium of implementing common patterns. Still, for the purists among you, and for those rare occasions when you need to use con figuration over convention, Rails makes it possible to explicitly set local template variables.

Please check back for the next part in this series.

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