Shorti - An Open Source Rails URL Shortener
However, for a couple of projects, I want the ability to see the number of clicks each URL receives. I did a few searches but did not see anything built in Ruby that was somewhat recent and met my goals.1 So built one called Shorti
Here is a [Shorti] overview:
- It is 100% API only. No UI/UX was hurt during its’ development.
- It has just three endpoints:
- Great a new link
- Visit a link (redirect)
- Get info on the link
- You create a link and are given pre-shortened URL in return
- Any visits to the URL in step #3 increment a counter and redirect to the URL
That’s about it — very standard stuff.
All of the source code is available on Github.
Here is some of what was learned building Shorti:
- I have a couple of API apps/projects I am thinking of building. Building Shorti was my first pass on an API only app. There is still a lot included in a rails API app that I would expect to be left out. It feels like Rails API apps are meant as a backend for a SPA. I tried to minimize what was bundled and loaded. I expect to spend some more time trying other options in the future.
- I was initially going to build this in Sinatra and Sequel. My initial direction is always to optimize and simplify the code as a whole, but sometimes the best simplification is to be consistent and clear. Love it or hate it, as a Rails app, it should be approachable for many developers.
- I also wanted to experiment with using a Heroku button. It was far simpler to set up than I expected, but also less flexible than I had hoped. I would love to be able to prompt the user to set a configuration variable or two, choose a specific add-on, or more. I see a future with less mega SaaS apps and more data control if we can find a way to install apps like this easier.
- I initially started out trying to use Rails system specs for main test pass, but could not get them working correctly. I read a couple of forum threads recommending using Request specs, which is logically a better choice and certainly has less overhead.
I would love to hear if you find this app useful and use it in a project of your own.
I am sure this post will ultimately prove me wrong. ↩︎