This Week in Rails

December 29, 2023

This year in Rails, a summary of 2023

This is Emmanuel, Greg, Vipul, Wojciech, and Zzak, bringing you the summary of what happened with Rails in the past year. It was a busy year with over 4300 commits from 520 contributors and 23 releases, including Rails 7.1!

For this year end issue, as a team we each hand-picked some of our favorite pull requests from the last year.

Reflecting on 2023: Rails Foundation’s Inaugural Year
Amanda wrote a summary of what the Rails Foundation has been up to this year and what she is plannning for next year.

Allow use of SSL-terminating reserve proxy that doesn’t set headers
Add ActionDispatch::AssumeSSL middleware that can be turned on via config.assume_ssl. It makes the application believe that all requests are arriving over SSL. This is useful when proxying through a load balancer that terminates SSL, the forwarded request will appear as though it’s HTTP instead of HTTPS to the application. This makes redirects and cookie security target HTTP instead of HTTPS.

Add ActiveJob.perform_all_later to enqueue multiple jobs at once
This adds the ability to bulk enqueue jobs, without running callbacks. This can greatly reduce the number of round-trips to the queue datastore. For queue adapters that do not implement the new enqueue_all method, we fall back to enqueuing jobs individually.

Implement Object#with
This pull request adds Object#with to set and restore public attributes around a block:

client.timeout # => 5
client.with(timeout: 1) do
  client.timeout # => 1
client.timeout # => 5

More examples and details about this change can be found on the pull request.

Introduce adapter for Trilogy
Trilogy is a client library for MySQL-compatible database servers, designed for performance, flexibility, and ease of embedding. The Trilogy database client and corresponding Active Record adapter were both open sourced by GitHub last year.

Add ActiveSupport::MessagePack
ActiveSupport::MessagePack is a serializer that integrates with the msgpack gem to serialize a variety of Ruby objects. Compared to JSON and Marshal, ActiveSupport::MessagePack can provide a performance improvement and message size reduction.

Introduce config.autoload_lib
The new method config.autoload_lib(ignore:) provides a simple way to autoload from lib folder:

 # config/application.rb
 config.autoload_lib(ignore: %w(assets tasks))

Normally, the lib directory has subdirectories that should not be autoloaded or eager loaded. This new method allows you to specify which subdirectories to be autoloaded as needed.
Read more about this new feature in the autoloading guide.

Active Job verbose logging
A verbose_enqueue_logs configuration option is added to Active Job to display the caller of background job enqueue in the log to help with debugging. It is enabled in development only for new and upgraded applications. Not recommended for use in the production environment since it relies on Ruby’s Kernel#caller which is fairly slow.

Add Bun support
Bun is a new and viable alternative to the node.js runtime, yarn package manager, and esbuild bundler. Bun’s primary differentiating characteristic is speed. It’s often multiple times faster than node.js and friends.
Since most vanilla Rails projects are looking to simply sprinkle a little JavaScript here and there (but sometimes want a bit better more of the JavaScript ecosystem than the import-maps provide) Bun is a really good fit and can be easily adopted by new Rails projects.

Support filtering tests by line ranges This change allows new syntax to filter tests by line ranges. For example, the following command runs tests from line 10 to 20.

$ rails test test/models/user_test.rb:10-20

Performance tune the SQLite3 adapter connection configuration
For Rails applications, the Write-Ahead-Log in normal syncing mode with a capped journal size, a healthy shared memory buffer and a shared cache will perform, on average, 2× better.

Enable YJIT by default if running Ruby 3.3+
There was many public reports of 15-25% latency improvements for Rails apps that did enable Ruby 3.2 YJIT, and in 3.3 it’s even better. Following the change, in Ruby 3.3 YJIT is paused instead of disabled by default, allowing us to enable it from an initializer.

Make the output of Active Records inspect configurable.
One can use attributes_for_inspect method:

Post.attributes_for_inspect = [:id, :title]
Post.first.inspect #=> "#<Post id: 1, title: "Hello, World!">"

With the attributes_for_inspect set to :all, all record’s attributes will be listed (default for development and test environment). One can also call full_inspect to get an inspection with all the attributes.

Rails 8 milestone
This one is about what’s ahead. DHH created a milestone for Rails 8 with very interesting issues. In my humble opinion, Rails 8 will be amazing.

That’s a wrap! Have a great New Year’s Eve and see you next year!

About This Week in Rails

Your weekly inside scoop of interesting commits, pull requests and more from Rails.