Gnarly Learnings from July 2022

  • July 22, 2022
  • Pete Whiting
  • 2 min read

We love reading, watching, and listening in order to constantly update our skills and learn new perspectives. Here are some of the exciting pieces we learned from this month.

The most underrated Rails helper: dom_id

Despite being around for over a decade, a number of us at The Gnar have never interacted with the dom_id helper, but apparently, it is super useful in the context of the Hotwire ecosystem. This article outlines when and how to leverage this helper to write clean tag builders, deep link anchor tags, interact with Turbo Frames, and scope Turbo Stream responses.

Bundle open

Sometimes debugging means deep diving into the source code of your app's dependencies. Enter bundle open. If your Rails application uses Bundler for dependency management, you can simply call bundle open and pass the name of the gem you'd like to explore, or pry into. This is by no means a new Bundler feature but it is super handy to keep in the tool belt.

State Machines in Ruby: An Introduction

At The Gnar, we are really passionate about application architecture and we love learning about new patterns. One of the patterns that the team came across recently is the State Machine pattern, which can be used to model rules for state transitions in an object-oriented way. This article does an excellent job of explaining the utility of the State Machine pattern and demonstrating how to use it with solid code examples.

Conditional Types

The whole point of strong typing is being intentional and clear with your types. If you have a union type that encompasses possibilities (say, string | number) and you need to wrap that type in something, you may want a wrapped type that either wraps all the possibilities (Promise) or you may want a type that wraps each possibility (Promise | Promise). Distributing the type gets you the latter option, and this link shows you how.

An Engineers Field Guide to Great Technical Writing

After working in the weeds on a project, effectively documenting that work can be a challenging task for many engineers. When crafting a piece of documentation, we have a tendency to assume that others know what we're talking about; it's important we fight that (completely natural) urge and instead write for the reader. What do they want to accomplish with your code? What do they need to know? And how can you communicate that information in the most succinct and straightforward manner?


With healthy browser support, currentColor is a great way to imply color in a cascading way. This keyword ensures that the attached element will inherit the closest set color, and is especially useful for simple SVG presentations.


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