[typo] Integrating Typo into another RoR app

Andrew Hodgkinson ahodgkin at rowing.org.uk
Wed Mar 28 12:20:02 EDT 2007

On 06-Feb, Matthew Van Horn wrote:

> I was wondering if there is a 'best practices' way of integrating Typo
>  into another rails app.
> Ideally, I'd like single sign-on and the ability to show the latest 
> blog posts in a sidebar of the other site pages.

Given it's ~6 weeks since your message this is probably irrelevant now,
but just in case and for the sake of list archives, here's my spin on it.

The approach I took was to keep a set of stand-alone Rails applications
broadly independent, but tie them together with a separate single sign-on
engine. You can include parts of Typo output in other pages using a
variety of mechanisms such as new actions specifically designed to return
page fragments for use in sidebars (effectively using Typo as a Web
service). In my site, I used existing RSS feeds from Typo and I2 to
produce "latest news" and "recently updated documentation" lists; for
example, see the Home page:


Local modifications for applications can be quite extensive if you want
to have a unified look and feel since the view templates need a lot of
attention, so upgrading to newer versions of applications can be
tiresome. If you weren't too worried about look and feel, though, the
changes needed for single sign-on integration may be fairly limited in
scope and while you still have a merge to do when newer application
versions are released, the merge isn't usually too difficult.

Downsides: The results are still not as integrated as a bespoke 
application; the implementation lacks efficiency due to pulling RSS feeds 
into a wider page in various places; caching is defeated for the 
applications using the RSS feeds, since they don't know if the other 
application will be sending new data, so they always have to rebuild 
their pages just in case.

TTFN, Andrew Hodgkinson
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