You know how it is - there are some things that you are just not comfortable without. My phone in my back pocket, my wallet in my front pocket, the key in the front door when I go to bed (just in case there's a fire and we have to make a hasty exit), the dog under my feet (tripping me up), one of my large collection of jackets (current favourite: leather biker jacket).
And so it is with Rails projects. Before I do anything I do the following:
- Load the Exception Notification plug-in and configure it with my email address
- Load the form_test_helper plug-in so I can confidently test my forms
- Load the ARTS plug-in so I can confidently test my AJAX user interfaces
- Load Markaby so my views are beautifully coded and semantically correct
- Create the Rails session store within the database (rake db:sessions:create)
Of these, the one I really can't do without is Markaby (although ARTS comes a close second). I don't know what it is (apart from Why the Lucky Stiff is genius). I can't stand looking at rhtml files any more - too many angle brackets for a start. Instead, my mabs are things of beauty - and as I write the code to produce the views, I find that they are more semantically correct as well. For example:
label "Email Address: "
text_field :person, :email_address
p.explanation "Please supply a valid email address so that we can send you a confirmation email"
As I'm writing the Markaby code, class names like "explanation" seem to fit naturally - the code reads better, the HTML is semantic and the CSS is simple.
What more could you want?