On Rails, Ext JS, Netzke, and nomadic lifestyle

On upcoming Netzke 0-8
October 17, 2012

Netzke is moving towards a significant update, and here's a little high-level write-up on what I'm planning for the release. This post will be followed by a series of more detailed post covering different topics in more details.

On backward (in)compatibility

Version 0.8 will be a major, backward-incompatible update of Netzke gems. I decided to give up on backward compatibility due to that it's too difficult to make it right. Honestly, I never quite managed, and I don't want to try hard any longer. Instead, I will focus on making the code as clean, intuitive and maintainable as possible. The changelogs, as always, will be helpful during upgrades.

Less magic

Last year I made a mistake taking the direction of introducing a lot of (kind of) nicely looking, but obscure and inflexible DSL methods that I used extensively while creating Yanit, a demo app for a conference. In the end I realized that if there's a slightly more verbose - but less magic - way of achieving the same goal, it'll be more appreciated by developers, as there's much less to remember (and debug).

I also decided to unify the way how one defines child components, actions, endpoints. A separate blogpost on this will follow soon.

The code in both Core and Basepack has been profoundly re-written with the goal to simplify it, making it now much easier to understand, maintain, and use.


I will introduce more structure to the documentation:

  • The project Readme on GitHub will always be a good place to begin with.
  • The detailed class documentation will be on api.netzke.org - I'm taking a significant effort to make it much more complete and consistent.
  • The "official" tutorials will only be posted on this blog. I will tag the posts with the actual Netzke version, so it'll be easier to find back the tutorials for older versions. I advise you to subscribe with your feed reader in order to stay up-to-date.
  • The (improved) guides will still be located on Netzke wiki.
  • The wiki will also keep a list of community-contributed tutorials.
  • Last but not least, some information about the releases and work in progress will be shared on Twitter

Release date

I'll announce switching the master branch to 0-8 on the Google Groups and on Twitter within a couple of weeks. The gems will be released before RubyConf Taiwan in December where I will be presenting Netzke (come say hi!)

That being said, the corresponding 0-8 branches of Core, Basepack, Demo, and Yanit are pretty much usable already, so, I encourage you to play with them. Don't forget to check out the changelogs where applicable.

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Max Gorin

Web developer and digital roamer since 2008. Author of Netzke. Feminist, atheist, life hacker, and common sense devotee.

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