Activity Log - messages with links - Strategy?

Hi all,

Im looking to write an activity log as part of the dashboard for one
of my apps. The log should show messages like

“Vinay created the project Acme Inc Website”, “You completed 2 tasks
in the project Acme Inc website”

and so on.

So i went about creating an activities table with controller, action,
user, message and timestamps. Now the messages the user sees in his
dashboard should have links on words like “You”, “Vinay”, “Acme Inc
Website” and so on such that they link to those respective resources.
I created the “message” column in the Activities table thinking i can
dynamically create the message and store it in DB and extract it for
the dashboard. All that works fine but now how do I insert the links?

whats the best strategy for this? scrap what I have done and please
suggest ideas on how you might approach this problem. one thing I DO
NOT want to do is dynamically generate those messages in the view. I
just think it will be too much load on the db AND rendering action
itself as compared to storing the message and applying the links
dynamically on retrieval somehow.

thoughts? ideas? suggestions?

thanks…

Ram wrote:

Hi all,

Im looking to write an activity log as part of the dashboard for one
of my apps. The log should show messages like

“Vinay created the project Acme Inc Website”, “You completed 2 tasks
in the project Acme Inc website”

and so on.

So i went about creating an activities table with controller, action,
user, message and timestamps. Now the messages the user sees in his
dashboard should have links on words like “You”, “Vinay”, “Acme Inc
Website” and so on such that they link to those respective resources.
I created the “message” column in the Activities table thinking i can
dynamically create the message and store it in DB and extract it for
the dashboard. All that works fine but now how do I insert the links?

Well, you could just generate the whole HTML string and store it, but I
assume that you want me to see “Vinay” and Vinay to see “you” for the
same message, so that won’t quite work.

whats the best strategy for this? scrap what I have done and please
suggest ideas on how you might approach this problem. one thing I DO
NOT want to do is dynamically generate those messages in the view. I
just think it will be too much load on the db AND rendering action
itself as compared to storing the message and applying the links
dynamically on retrieval somehow.

This may well be premature optimization.

thoughts? ideas? suggestions?

thanks…

Take a leaf out of Facebook’s book. Use an intermediate representation
in the DB: something like “[user 110] created project Acme”. Then parse
that when the view is created, so that user 110 sees “you” and everyone
else sees user 110’s name.

Best,

Marnen Laibow-Koser
http://www.marnen.org
[email protected]

Nice… that seems like a good option. So assuming that im gonna use
link_to to generate the HTML, I will have to generate the message in
either the controller or view right? was hoping i could generate the
message in the model keeping the controller clean.

anyway, ill get on that.
anymore ideas or suggestions?

On Aug 3, 9:06 pm, Marnen Laibow-Koser <rails-mailing-l…@andreas-

Ram wrote:

Nice… that seems like a good option. So assuming that im gonna use
link_to to generate the HTML,

Why are you assuming that? It may be a good idea, or it may not.

I will have to generate the message in
either the controller or view right? was hoping i could generate the
message in the model keeping the controller clean.

Generate the intermediate representation in the model and store it in
the DB. Parse it (probably with a model method, or else a helper) when
you render the view. I don’t see why you need to put too much in the
controller.

anyway, ill get on that.
anymore ideas or suggestions?

Best,

Marnen Laibow-Koser
http://www.marnen.org
[email protected]

Hi Marnen,

Thats almost what im doing right now. Ive got the message being
generated in the model alongwith HTML tags for the links (link_to did
not work as i was hoping) and I use a helper method to display the
"You"s and usernames and other such small cosmetics.

Will it be too complicated to generate the links in to helper method?
Maybe I should throw in a ‘resource_id’ field into activity_logs and
store the id of the task/project upon which an activity is being
performed. That will help in generating messages on the fly in the
views. Also, that sounds like a polymorphic relationship entering the
picture…? Your thoughts?

Thanks,
Vinay.

On Aug 4, 8:17 pm, Marnen Laibow-Koser <rails-mailing-l…@andreas-

On Aug 4, 9:53 pm, Ram [email protected] wrote:

Hi Marnen,

Will it be too complicated to generate the links in to helper method?
Maybe I should throw in a ‘resource_id’ field into activity_logs and
store the id of the task/project upon which anactivityis being
performed. That will help in generating messages on the fly in the
views. Also, that sounds like a polymorphic relationship entering the
picture…? Your thoughts?

This sounds very similar to the exact thing I want to get. A user
activity log with hyperlinks to the various ActiveRecord objects that
they’ve viewed or created. I created a thread -

http://groups.google.com/group/rubyonrails-talk/browse_thread/thread/a5ebe53638c8331f

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