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A Waage Blog

Ruby, Rails, Life

Archive for February, 2011

Rails 3 – How to Rename a Project

with one comment

As opposed to previous versions of Rails, Rails 3 namespaces your entire project according to your project name. As an example, notice that in your config/routes.rb file, the first line is:

ProjectName::Application.routes.draw do

This means that changing a project name involves changing a number of files to reference the new project name as well. Here’s a quick list of the standard files to change:


Besides these, it’s a good idea to also check all files in config/ and config/initializers/
If you want to be thorough, run this grep command in your project root, and you will get a list of all files that contain your old project name:

grep -Ri 'oldprojectame' * | cut -f1 -d':' | sort | uniq

Written by Andrew Waage

February 28th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Facebook base64 url decode for signed_request

with 9 comments

I ran into a problem as I was trying to decode and parse the Facebook signed_request for their new Registration plugin (

Folowing the PHP example, I attempted to decode and read the signed_request returned by Facebook. Unfortunately, it seemed like the decoded JSON returned was malformed! It was missing the end hash character “}”. This may not happen in all cases, but the reason is due to the padding in Base64 encoding (See Base64 for URLs in Wikipedia).

To account for the padding in Base64, I used the following helper method to do the base64_url_decode. Hope it helps someone else trying to base64 decode Facebook’s signed_request in Ruby on Rails!:

 def base64_url_decode(str)
   str += '=' * (4 - str.length.modulo(4))

Notice there’s two things that must happen before decoding the string:

  1. Pad the encoded string with “=”
  2. Replace the character ‘-’ with ‘+’, and ‘_’ with ‘/’

I wish Facebook mentioned this clearly on their API !

Written by Andrew Waage

February 8th, 2011 at 1:27 pm