This post is very old and contains obsolete information.
The first step is to install bower. Ironically, we need to use npm to do that! On OSX, the easiest way is to use the Homebrew
Then let’s install bower in your local command path so you can run it.
Now let’s setup rails to work with bower. This section assumes that you already have a rails application.
.bowerrc file. This is going to tell bower where to install the packages it needs, and we’re going to say put it in
bower init to create a
bower.json file. This file is similar to a
Gemfile, in that it lists out the dependancies, and when you run bower again, it will download the specific versions from the intertubes.
Tell rails where to look
Small walk through
Let’s say you want to use Google Maps with Angular. angular-google-maps is a package that does a lot of the heavy lifting for you, so lets install that. We’re going to tell bower to keep track of the packages we want inside of our
bower.json file by passing in the
$ bower install --save angular-google-maps
I’ve cleaned up some of the output, but you can see that bower installed angular-google-maps and it’s dependancies, angular itself and lodash. Lets go to our
application.js file now to tell Sprockets that we want to use this awesome stuff:
Since we’ve added
vendor/assets/bower_components in Sprockets load path, it should be able to find all of these files. Notice that you don’t need to know where to get all of the dependancies from, but you do need to make sure that you specify them in your
application.js in the right order. We’ll be talking about
browersify in future posts that assuages this issue.
To check in or not to check in
However, it’s not necessary to check things in if you expand your build process a bit. If you look inside of your
bower.json file, you’ll see that it specifies the specific version of the bower package that you installed.
This should contain all the information needed so that when you run
bower install again, all of the correct versions of the files will be downloaded. You could make it part of your build process, much like how running
bundle install is part of the standard rails build pack. Bundler looks through
Gemfile.lock and installs those specific packages. The version is always specified inside of
bower.json so there doesn’t need to be two files.