Scaffolding and dealing with generated actions in the controllers

Hey Everyone,

I wanted to know if I could get some insight on something. I am using
Rails 2.1.2 and for something that needs beyond basic functionality, I
typically generate a scaffold so I don’t have to manually create
everything and save some time. Well as you all most likely know, along
with generating a scaffold, comes predefined actions in the controller
that is generated, usually like show, new, create, index, etc…

The question I have regarding that is how and where are all those
actions tied to? I know Rails 2.* uses the REST model by default, so
everything is resourceful. And thats fine and all, but when I want to
do something outside of those predefined actions, it throws a fit so
to speak.

Let me illustrate what I mean by that. So lets say I wanted to create
a Rails app for a local brewery that has a UI frontend that would act
as the brewery site lets say which also contains a catalogue of their
various lagers and ales that they have for sell to take home. So I
would create an app called brew lets say - “rails -d mysql brew”.

So the skeleton is created, but now I need a model, view, and
controller of course. I decide this needs a bit extra functionality
from the get go so I create a scaffold - “script/generate scaffold
beer”. I generate a new migration for the table needed to store all
the various products that the brewery offers - “script/generate
migration add_products”. I write in the fields that I want in the db
table, and run a rake db:migrate. Everything is great.

Now I can add a couple products, and show the details of them. Great.
But now, I want to do more than that. Now I want to be able to write
in a mashup into the app also so maybe someone could find the place,
so I’ll integrate google and yahoo maps in with the GeoKit plugin, and
I want to play some videos on youtube that related the brewery
assuming there were any, so I’d use the YouTube API using something
like the YouTube-G plugin or something.

So now I install the plugins, and then write some methods into the
controller to act as something like a search functionality. But now
that say these methods are wrote, and I have a template called
search.rhtml in my view that will generate directions to the place
using the users remote public ip and geocoding that into coordinates,
then pulling up any youtube videos on a sidebar that has to do with
the place.

So I make sure everything is saved, and I fire up mongrel and test it
out. But instead of seeing the generated html form, instead I get an
action controller exception saying “Cannot find with ID=search” or
something to that affect, and I get lines that describe where it is
derived from, but it would be in the controller on the line with the
“def show” method, containing something like @beer =
Beer.find(params[:id]), in which is is querying for the sql id field,
which is the primary key in the table. But because I’m trying to find
anything but ID, it fights me tooth and nail.

So, I wanted to know if anyone really understand REST, and how
everything ties together. I have tried to delete the
map.resources :beers (or whatever it may be), but then it has a
routing issue. I am but I try to do anything beyond the basic methods
laid out in the generated controller and it throws a big fit.

Can anyone clarify this for me so I could understand it better?

Just a few guidelines so you can learn the rest on your own:

Make sure you understand the map.resources method and its
capabilities, and especially read the part on adding custom actions
(through the :collection, :member and :new options of map.resources):

REST actions in Rails are probably the least DRY part of the
framework, and you’ll need to add any custom methods you add to your
controller to config/routes.rb file as well.

Try reading the first chapter of the book Advanced Rails Recipes
(Pragmatic Programmers) if you have access to the book, or just read
about REST in Rails in blogs, some have useful information (though
some others may be a bit outdated).

Also, try this: