Get working quickly with a customised Rails project launcher

December 30, 2008

I just knocked up a quick Ruby script to automate some of the steps I always do when starting work on a Rails project, namely:

  • open an iTerm tab running script/server
  • open an iTerm tab running script/console
  • open an iTerm tab running autotest
  • open an iTerm tab running a shell window
  • launch Safari on localhost:3000 for testing.

Customise this little script to suit your own needs. You'll need to install the rb-appscript gem to start with, and obviously this only applies to OS X users.

require 'rubygems'
require 'appscript'

RAILS_PROJECT_PATH = "~/path_to_your_rails_project" # Customise this

def create_iterm_tab( command = "" )
  @iterm ||= Appscript::app( 'iTerm' )
  session = @iterm.current_terminal.sessions.end.make( :new => :session )
  session.exec( :command => 'bash -l' )
  session.write( :text => "cd #{RAILS_PROJECT_PATH}" )
  session.write( :text => command ) unless command.nil?

def launch_browser( url = "http://localhost:3000")
  @safari ||= Appscript::app('Safari')


The sleep(5) is in there to give time for the server to spin up before launching the browser.

Now put all this in a file called "launchproject.command" on the Desktop, and chmod +x it to allow it to allow it to execute when double-clicked.

I got some tips from Dribblings of a Deranged Hermit.

Happy New Year!