What's new with Rails UI - Issue 4

Andy Leverenz

Andy Leverenz


Greetings, fellow Rails enthusiast!

In the last issue, I shared some progress and problems I faced as I built Rails UI. This time, the alpha version of Rails UI is nearly ready for you to try.

If you're on the list, I hope to cast an email update with instructions on how to get ahold of the source code to play around with on your own.

Check out the latest update in video form

Here's what's new

A new starting point

Rails UI starting page

Rails UI starting page - dark mode

I recently tweeted about the default Rails first boot screen being rather bland and not actionable.

In 2021, Chris tried to submit a pull request to add links and improve the user experience, but approval was no bueno. Instead, a comical link was added to the Rails logo...

I decided to build something more actionable even though you need to install Rails UI first. I created this project to scratch my itch and make the UX better.

A new way to review routes


Ruby on Rails is handy when it comes to displaying routes. There are a few ways to do this. As a more visual person, I would visit /rails/info/routes to see all that's available. Having done this for years, the text size, color, and UI treatment always bugged me. With all this in mind, I created a new place to search and review routes that live at railsui/routes.

Access Rails UI from anywhere

Rails UI Launcher

Because Rails UI is a visual addition to your Rails application, finding your way back to the configuration or design system can be challenging, depending on your setup. I added a new launcher icon to give you a place for quick access wherever you are in your app. This is presented in the development environment by default, and you can remove this or display it for users with specific permissions.

Distribution challenges

If you work in open-source, you know plenty of ways to share code and get feedback from a vast audience. Doing the same with closed-source code is quite the feat.

Solutions exist, but from what I've seen, you either need to pay hefty fees or re-invent the wheel–neither I have the time or funds for.

I've been searching for solutions to share this project with my list, and it has been challenging.

So, what's your plan?

My first focus is, of course, to ship this thing. To consider the launch a success, I need a way to share a gem that's easy to install. With that in mind, the beta version will be a public Github repo you can download into your project. I'll use Github to get early feedback for discussions, feature requests, issues, etc.

As the project scales and I start offering more themes as part of a premium license, there will most likely be a closed repo from which you can download new releases.

anystack.sh is perfect for these distribution challenges. While the fees are high, there is an option to run my billing stack, which I will likely do to bypass those.

What's ahead

In the next few weeks, I'll share the public repo where you can find the gem and take it for a spin. I'm finishing up some last-minute refactors and ensuring the documentation is complete enough to limit confusion.

I'm excited to get this in your hands and hear what's working and what isn't!

Get all updates directly to your inbox.
Sign up for the newsletter.