My site is still young and contents aren't that many right now, but what I really enjoy doing is making all the pages look better and be more usable. One thing that I recently gave thought on were my error pages.
I tried to advertently access a missing page, and I was greeted with my old one liner text and a suggestion to visit my blog. At the bottom of it was my twitter feed. It had the same layout as the rest of my site's pages and had the usual links on the right side. Funny though, when you access this missing page, it did take the usual loading time only to be displayed with such a page. And so I thought it needed a revamp.
Aside from thoughts on usability, I wanted really to put some things that can't really be done from plain HTML. I wanted to put some of my recent posts as suggestions for visits. These and I get stuck with an HTML file for 404 or 500. And so, after some time of research, I found a very nice solution.
I came across a wiki entry on how to configure the error page of your application and proposed that ActionController::Rescue's
rescue_action_in_public will be overriden in the
application.rb of your application.
Rails' 404 and 500 error pages are located in the public directory of your application and they are in plain HTML files. The only way for us to use layouts is to put it somewhere inside the application where layouts and the ActionController can do its tasks.
A 404 error can be triggered when there is a path retrieved and its not found anywhere in the application. The easiest way to catch this and point it to a controller/method. In your config/routes.rb, add the lowest priority route definition:
map.connect '*path', :controller => 'application', :action => 'rescue_404' unless ::ActionController::Base.consider_all_requests_local
When all routes have been checked and that the currently requested file is not found, it lands on the lowest priority route and makes a request to application.rb's
rescue_action_in_public receives the call and directs to the right template. In your application.rb, put these codes:
def rescue_404 rescue_action_in_public(ActionController::RoutingError) end def rescue_action_in_public(exception) #maybe gather up some data you''d want to put in your error page case exception when ActionController::InvalidAuthenticityToken when ArgumentError when SyntaxError render :template => "shared/error500", :layout => "error", :status => "500" else render :template => "shared/error404", :layout => "error", :status => "404" end end def local_request? return false end
This works, but these codes just catches the 404 errors, but not the 500s. I found this out the hard way, but I'm saving you time and letting you know how to work this out. By reading further, some are suggesting to put specific
rescue_action_in_public methods per controller. I think that this would be too tiring, and so having a DRY implementation of it would be better.
Since some errors occur before any controllers are loaded, we need to create a "pre-controller" approach. Create a pre controller in your lib folder. You can name it as you please. Put in the following lines:
class ActionController::Base def rescue_action_in_public(exception) #maybe gather up some data you'd want to put in your error page case exception when ActiveRecord::RecordNotFound when ActiveRecord::RecordInvalid when ActionController::RoutingError when ActionController::UnknownController when ActionController::UnknownAction when ActionController::MethodNotAllowed render :template => "shared/error404", :layout => "error", :status => "404" else render :template => "shared/error500", :layout => "error", :status => "500" end end end
Strap the loading of this file into your
config/environment.rb like this:
or whatever you named your file with. After that, you now need to create your templates and layout files as necessary. Well, I'm sure you already know how to work that out. :)
That's it. I haven't found any bright alternatives, but it works for me, and I think it just needs a little cleaning and it'll be better.