Rake Reset

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This week I want to show you a simple Rake task I’ve been using for years. It’s one of the very first things I do when starting a new Rails project. I call it reset and it’s purpose is to completely tear down our development environment and rebuild it from scratch. Here is what it looks like:

desc "re-build our development environment"
task reset: :environment do
  return unless Rails.env.development?


Pretty simple right? As you can see, we’re rebuilding the database and the running tmp:clear at the end which removes the cache, session, socket and pid files from the tmp directory. Let’s take a closer look at the db:rebuild task:

namespace :db do
  desc "build the db and populate it with sample data"
  task rebuild: :environment do
    return unless Rails.env.development?

    `yes | rake sunspot:reindex`

We completely obliterate the development database, run our migrations, and seed our database with sample data. In this case, we’re also going to re-index our Solr instance to make sure it is up-to-date.

Now we can run rake reset in our Rails project and we’re ready to go. I like this rake task for a couple of reasons:

  1. If you’re in a situation where you’re scratching your head and things aren’t quite working right, we can run this task it get us back to square one.

  2. Getting new developers setup and ready to go on a project is a snap.

Like I said, I’ve been using this rake task for years and come to rely on it heavily. Just knowing that I can always get back pristine development environment has saved me countless hours.