Developer Guide

Developer Guide

This is the developer guide for the rubyclerks sytsem. It explains how the system is built, not as much what it does. To get aquainted with what the system does, please read the User Guide

As all clerks are built on ruby on rails it is assumed that you are familiar with at least the basics of ror. Engines are relatively new and it may help to read the guide to understand better, but when in doubt one may thing of an engine as a packaged application.

Tool choices

As Rails is a framework, it leaves the developer with many many choices how to do things. Many smaller ones will be explained in later chapters, but here is a short summary of the main choices that were made:

AR and Database independence

We use the rails standard ActiveRecord for database access and the model layer. And while AR allows to write sql, we specifically don’t do that to leave you the choice of database. Ie rubyclerks should work with any AR supported database.


To create views rails standard uses erb. While erb is easy for people coming from html, it is unneccessarily cluttered. We use haml for all views. Engine views may be overriden in an app, and this may be done with any template format, ie an erb template may override a haml one. Haml’s style friend is sass, and as a basis bootstrap is used.

Good testing

There is an overview of Testing, and it is done with rspec. But the main point about testing is not the framework (or if you like it) but to do it. We currently have close to 400 tests and no bug gets fixed or feature added with more testing, and off course all old ones passing.


You can see from the menu on the right how this is going to go. First a brief overview of the architecture of the system, ie how different clerks work together. Then a quick look at the models involved and their relationships. Next two chapters on the main topics of index and edit pages, and then an introduction on how to build your own clerk, an extension.

The chapter on testing will cover extension testing too, and last but not least an installation guide.

Next -> Architecture