Helpers: Custom Helpers


In the overview section, we introduced the design for helpers. They are modules that enrich views’ behaviors. Because they are just Ruby modules, we can create our own helpers.

Example

Imagine we need (for some reason) a helper that shuffles the characters of a string and we want it to be available in our views.

First, let’s define a Web::Helpers::Shuffler module, and put it within a new helpers directory.

# app/web/helpers/shuffler.rb
module Web
  module Helpers
    module Shuffler
      private
      SEPARATOR = ''.freeze

      def shuffle(string)
        string
          .encode(Encoding::UTF_8, invalid: :replace)
          .split(SEPARATOR).shuffle.join
      end
    end
  end
end

There is NO coupling between the file name and the name of the module. We can define this code where and how we want.

Now let’s make this helper available to use by editing our app’s application.rb. First, add that new helpers directory to the load paths of the application so it can be eagerly loaded. Second, include the Web::Helpers::Shuffler module in all the views. See the Views: Share Code section for low-level details.

# apps/web/application.rb
module Web
  class Application < Hanami::Application
    configure do
      # ...

      load_paths << [
        'helpers',
        'controllers',
        'views'
      ]

      # ...

      view.prepare do
        include Hanami::Helpers
        include Web::Helpers::Shuffler
      end
    end
  end
end

Please note that our custom helper will work even if we remove the include Hanami::Helpers line, because it’s just Ruby.