Sebastian Sebastian - 25 days ago 9
Ruby Question

rails: get a teaser/excerpt for an article

I have a page that will list news articles. To cut down on the page's length, I only want to display a teaser (the first 200 words / 600 letters of the article) and then display a "more..." link, that, when clicked, will expand the rest of the article in a jQuery/Javascript way. Now, I've all that figured out and even found the following helper method on some paste page, which will make sure, that the news article (string) is not chopped up right in the middle of a word:

def shorten (string, count = 30)
if string.length >= count
shortened = string[0, count]
splitted = shortened.split(/\s/)
words = splitted.length
splitted[0, words-1].join(" ") + ' ...'
else
string
end
end


The problem that I have is that the news article bodies that I get from the DB are formatted HTML. So if I'm unlucky, the above helper will chop up my article string right in the middle of an html tag and insert the "more..." string there (e.g. between ""), which will corrupt my html on the page.

Is there any way around this or is there a plugin out there that I can use to generate excerpts/teasers from an HTML string?

Answer

Thanks a lot for your answers! However, in the meantime I stumbled upon the jQuery HTML Truncator plugin, which perfectly fits my purposes and shifts the truncation to the client-side. It doesn't get any easier :-)