Common header help

I’m trying to create a common header for my ruby on rails app. I have
common layout setup in application.rhtml. In the layout i have a div
section “header” which is where i want to add information like logo
the current user logged in, navigation links, standard stuff. However,
i try to add information in that “header” section, it does not display
anything that is plain text. I added link_to’s and those show up, but
if i
add the username (no link) it does not show up. I can see that its
when i view source on the page, but it does not show up on the actual
Why is this?

Also, the technique i am using to get the currently logged in user, is
render_component of a controller that looks up the current user if the
id is
in the session hash. Is this the best way to do such a thing?

I’m new to rails, so i want to make sure i’m not violating best
and i would greatly appreciate some help.

Thanks in advance.

Can you post the pertinent chunk of the resulting html file (i.e. the
“header” div) and
the chunk of the application.rhtml that makes it?