AnApprentice AnApprentice - 1 year ago 151
Ruby Question

Rails, How to render a view/partial in a model

In my model I have:

after_create :push_create

I push_create I need to render a view. I'm trying to do that like so:

def push_event(event_type)
:content => render( :partial =>"feeds/feed_item", :locals => { :feed_item => self })

This angers rails as it doesn't like me rendering a view in the model but I need it there.


NoMethodError (undefined method `render' for #<WallFeed:0x1039be070>):

Suggestions? Should I render it somewhere else somehow? Or how can I render in the model to set content? Thanks

Answer Source

proper solution

Well, "they" are right. You really have to do the rendering in a controller - but it's fair game to call that controller from a model! Fortunately, AbstractController in Rails 3 makes it easier than I thought. I wound up making a simple ActionPusher class, working just like ActionMailer. Perhaps I'll get ambitious and make this a proper gem someday, but this should serve as a good start for anyone else in my shoes.

I got the most help from this link:

in lib/action_pusher.rb

class ActionPusher < AbstractController::Base
  include AbstractController::Rendering
  include AbstractController::Helpers
  include AbstractController::Translation
  include AbstractController::AssetPaths
  include Rails.application.routes.url_helpers
  helper ApplicationHelper
  self.view_paths = "app/views"

  class Pushable
    def initialize(channel, pushtext)
      @channel = channel
      @pushtext = pushtext

    def push
      Pusher[@channel].trigger('rjs_push', @pushtext )

in app/pushers/users_pusher.rb. I guess the require could go somewhere more global?

require 'action_pusher'

class UsersPusher < ActionPusher
  def initialize(user)
    @user = user

  def channel

  def add_notice(notice = nil)
    @notice = notice channel, render(template: 'users_pusher/add_notice')

Now in my model, I can just do this:

after_commit :push_add_notice


def push_add_notice

and then you'll want a partial, e.g. app/views/users_pusher/add_notice.js.haml, which could be as simple as:


I guess you don't really need to do it with Pushable inner class and the .push call at the end, but I wanted to make it look like ActiveMailer. I also have a pusher_key method on my user model, to make a channel for each user - but this is my first day with anything like Pusher, so I can't say for sure if that's the right strategy. There's more to be fleshed out, but this is enough for me to get started.

Good luck!

(this was my first draft answer, leaving it in because it might help someone)

I've got the general outline of a solution working. Like this, in your model:

after_create :push_new_message


def render_anywhere(partial, assigns = {})
  view =, assigns)
  view.extend ApplicationHelper
  view.render(:partial => partial)

def push_new_message
  pushstring = render_anywhere('notices/push_new_message', :message_text => self.body)
  Pusher[user.pusher_key].trigger!('new_message', pushstring)

that is definitely working - the template is rendering, and gets eval()'ed on the client side successfully. I'm planning to clean it up, almost certainly move render_anywhere somewhere more general, and probably try something like this

I can see that pushes will need their own templates, calling the generally available ones, and I may try to collect them all in one place. One nice little problem is that I sometimes use controller_name in my partials, like to light up a menu item, but I'll obviously have to take a different tactic there. I'm guessing I might have to do something to get more helpers available, but I haven't gotten there yet.

Success! Hooray! This should answer your question, and mine - I'll add more detail if it seems appropriate later. Good luck!!!!

original non-answer from an hour ago left for clarity

I don't have an answer, but this timely question deserves more clarification, and I'm hoping to get closer to my answer by helping ask :)

I'm facing the same problem. To explain a little more clearly, Pusher asynchronously sends content to a connected user browser. A typical use case would be a showing the user they have a new message from another user. With Pusher, you can push a message to the receiver's browser, so they get an immediate notification if they are logged in. For a really great demo of what Pusher can do, check out

You can send any data you like, such as a JSON hash to interpret how you like it, but it would be very convenient to send RJS, just like with any other ajax call and eval() it on the client side. That way, you could (for example) render the template for your menu bar, updating it in its entirety, or just the new message count displayed to the user, using all the same partials to keep it bone-DRY. In principle, you could render the partial from the sender's controller, but that doesn't make much sense either, and there might not even be a request, it could be triggered by a cron job, for example, or some other event, like a stock price change. The sender controller just should not have to know about it - I like to keep my controllers on a starvation diet ;)

It might sound like a violation of MVC, but it's really not - and it really should be solved with something like ActionMailer, but sharing helpers and partials with the rest of the app. I know in my app, I'd like to send a Pusher event at the same time as (or instead of) an ActionMailer call. I want to render an arbitrary partial for user B based on an event from user A.

These links may point the way towards a solution:

The last one looks the most promising, offering up this tantalizing snippet:

def render_anywhere(partial, assigns)
  view =, assigns)
  ActionView::Base.helper_modules.each { |helper| view.extend helper }
  view.extend ApplicationHelper
  view.render(:partial => partial)

As does this link provided by another poster above.

I'll report back if I get something working

tl;dr: me too!

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