A suspension bridge got cut from the varsity squad

Matt Jankowski

Since introducing you to suspenders almost a year ago, we’ve really enjoyed using it. When we have a good time, so do you.  So does everyone.

When we work on projects for ourselves or clients, we constantly learn what decisions we can “make in advance” and avoid repeating on new projects.


Even if it’s only a matter of saving an hour here or there on set up, this adds up across people and projects, and it keeps us focused on the interesting bits.  Recently we committed a batch of changes to suspenders that are more interesting than the normal tweaks and upgrades:

We upgraded to Rails (and then very shortly thereafter upgraded to a rails changeset in 2.3 stable which is not an official release, due to a params filtering bug in the official release).

We added Timecop, a great library for mocking time in tests.

We removed milemarker, our own interface hiding plugin - we just weren’t actually using it on enough client projects to make it worth keeping in the default template.

We removed squirrel, our rubyish SQL generator - with the introduction of named_scopes and the “use a search class” strategy, we are using squirrel less and less on new projects.

We removed RedCloth 3, which has been replaced by RedCloth 4 (which is now more than stable enough to use in production, we’ve found).  Note that RedCloth version 4 is a compiled gem which will have to be installed on the server.  Version 3 was able to be bundled into vendor/gems, this is no longer the case.

We added formtastic (and the validation reflection plugin, which enables automatic “required field” labeling), which - after having spent 18 months or so talking about and never building the “perfect form builder” - we’ve decided to standardize on formtastic for all new projects.

We added the Paperclip file attachment gem, because we use it more often than not.

We added Clearance, our user auth gem, because we build apps with users more often than not.

So there you have it. Suspenders boy is happy to have these new updates, and he wants you to (git) pull on his suspenders for your own project someday soon.

Update to earlier updates - we’ve also recently added Cucumber and Webrat into the template as well.  We’ve been using these tools for “top down” “outside in” “story writing” in our testing capers.

Visit our Open Source page to learn more about our team’s contributions.