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In an effort to simplify my Sinatra app startup and configuration process I've built out a very simple bootstrapping library. It's robust enough to cover the needs for a small to mid size app, but simple enough that it's not overkill for use with Sinatra.

boostraps.rb

In my config directory I have two files: bootstraps.rb and environment.rb. The former contains three classes DataStore, Configuration, and Initializer. When you invoke the class method boot! on Initializer it pulls in the environment.rb, loads up the configured gems and then loads up all the files in whatever library directories have been specified. Use within your Sinatra::Base subclass takes the form:
require 'config/bootstraps'

module MyModule
  class App < Sinatra::Base

    configure do
      Config = BootStraps::Initializer.config
      Config.db.connect
      bar = Config.global[:foo]      
    end 
  end
end

Environment.rb

The above is nice and quiet as it should be. Behind the scenes we've told ol' BootStraps a bunch of stuff about what our app looks like:
BootStraps::Initializer.configure do |config|
  
  #Configure the db library and settings
  config.db.lib = 'ActiveRecord::Base'
  config.db.init_method = :establish_connection
  config.db.init_args = {
    :adapter => 'sqlite3',
    :dbfile =>  "#{config.root}db/#{config.env}.sqlite3"}

  #default our environment to production
  config.default_env = 'production'

  #require a ActiveRecord on boot
  config.gems['activerecord'] = '>=2.2'
  
  #arbitrary setting
  config.global[:foo] = 'bar'

end

Other stuff

The best part that you don't see here is the ability to add libraries to app/[models,ext]/ or lib/ and have them required for you. Again, the point is to limit the knowledge/effort needed to contribute new code to the app.

kinks

It's quirky in some places (you have to specify something for a gem version even if its nil) but its a relatively clean app boostrapping solution. You can check out my current use case in more detail here so long as you ignore the rest of the app :D.

Published

09 Jun 2009

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