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ActivityStreams is a Rails Plug-in providing a customizable framework for cataloging and publishing user activity and social objects.

Developed and tested on Rails 2.1


1) Generate initialization class, migration, controllers, and tests:

       ./script/generate activity_streams User

The only option is the name of the model that holds your User.

2) Run the migration

       rake db:migrate

3) Edit ./config/initializers/activity_streams.rb. Here you must define your on list of ACTIVITY_STREAM_ACTIVITIES. ACTIVITY_STREAM_ACTIVITIES are a hash of activities used on the entire site. ACTIVITY_STREAM_ACTIVITIES are a grouping of activities so verbs like "now follows" and "no longer follows" can be tracked as the same activity. Please ensure the keys are unique.

ACTIVITY_STREAM_LOCATIONS relies on a application controller method "activity_stream_location". If you change or add to ACTIVITY_STREAM_LOCATIONS you will probably need to override the activity_stream_location method.

The ACTIVITY_STREAM_USER_MODEL, _CLASS, and _MODEL_ID should not need changing. However, set ACTIVITY_STREAM_USER_MODEL_NAME to be the method of your user model the returns a friendly name (like "firstname lastname").

4) Edit application controller and include the activity logger:

    class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base

      include LogActivityStreams


5) Add logging calls to each controller for all the actions you want to log activities. For example:

    class FeedsController < ApplicationController
      log_activity_streams :current_user, :friendly_name, :now_follows,
        :@new_creators, :title, :set_my_feeds, :follow_creator, {:total => 1 }

      log_activity_streams :current_user, :friendly_name, :now_follows,
        :@new_categories, :name, :set_my_feeds, :follow_category,
        {:total => 1 }

      log_activity_streams :current_user, :friendly_name, :no_longer_follows,
        :@destroyed_creators, :title, :set_my_feeds, :follow_creator,
        {:total => -1 }

      log_activity_streams :current_user, :friendly_name, :no_longer_follows,
        :@destroyed_categories, :name, :set_my_feeds, :follow_category,
        {:total => -1 }


The arguments for log activity stream are

    actor: a method or instance variable the is a single model or
    Array of models.  An Array will generate multiple activities

    actor_method_name: A method name that returns a display-able
    name for the actor model

    verb: The verb for the activity.

    object: a method or instance variable the is a single model or
    Array of models.  An Array will generate multiple activities

    object_method_name: A method name that returns a display-able
    name for the object model

    action: The name of the action that triggers this activity.

    activity: The activity grouping, the key should be predefined in

    options: A hash of options.   Currently the options can take:
    :status for non display-able, debug, or internal activities
    :total for keeping total counts across grouped activities in the
    activity_stream_totals table. The :total can be either a Fixnum
    (positive or negative)or the symbol name of an instance variable
    or method.

6) Display a stream in one of your views. For example, from ./app/views/users/show.html.erb:

   <h3>Recent Activity</h3>

   <div class="hfeed">

   <%= render :partial => 'activity_streams/activity_stream', :collection => ActivityStream.recent_actors(@user, activity_stream_location)  %>

   </div> <!-- hfeed -->

7) Define the required methods. The plug-in needs to know the current logged in user and if that user is an admin. So the following methods must be defined.

  a) The User model needs an "admin?" method

  b) The controller need a "current_user" controller and helper method

  c) The controller needs "logged_in?" controller and helper method

  d) Finally, either the generated controllers need to be modified
  or a login_required and admin_required methods must be written for
  the controllers.

Except for the admin methods above, restful_authentication defines all these methods for us.

8) Activities should now be logging. You should be able to generate and view activities now. A good interactive test is to play with the preferences and atom feed found here:


9) Fix the generated tests and add new ones. Activity streams generator generates unit, controller, and integration tests. These tests will need to be fixed as your fixtures will be different than the ones provided.

Finally, you should write some tests for your controllers where you add your activities. For example:

    class FeedsControllerTest < ActionController::TestCase

      def test_follow_creator_generates_activity
        login_as :fred
          assert_difference('ActivityStream.count', +1) do
          post :set_my_feeds, :id => 1, :creators => ['1'], :feed_digest_option => 'daily'

      def test_follow_category_generates_activity
        login_as :fred
          assert_difference('ActivityStream.count', +1) do
          post :set_my_feeds, :id => 1, :categories => ['1'], :feed_digest_option => 'daily'

      def test_follow_three_generates_three_activities
        login_as :fred
          assert_difference('ActivityStream.count', +3) do
          post :set_my_feeds, :id => 1, :categories => ['1'], :creators => ['2','3'], :feed_digest_option => 'daily'

      def test_follow_creator_activity_has_correct_data
        login_as :fred

        post :set_my_feeds, :id => 1, :creators => ['1'], :feed_digest_option => 'daily'
        activity = ActivityStream.find(:last)

        assert_equal(activity.object_id, 1)
        assert_equal(activity.object_type, 'Creator')
        assert_equal(activity.actor_id, users(:fred).id)
        assert_equal(activity.actor_type, 'User')
        assert_equal(activity.verb, 'now_follows')

You should be able to modify the views by copying the view directories from the plugin into your app/views directory.

Copyright © 2008 Matson Systems, Inc. Released under the BSD license found in the file LICENSE


Repository git://
License BSD
Rating (0 votes)
Owner Rama McIntosh
Created 23 September 2008


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