Rails 5’s best feature is one you may not have noticed

Rails 5’s best feature is one you may not have noticed

I noticed something curious when I booted my first project atop Rails 5 in development mode: that when the development server was idling, the title bar on Terminal.app would read “fsevent_watch”.

On further investigation I found this pull request and this posting to the official Rails blog. With this pull request, Rails got a new event-based filesystem monitor. Whereas previously, both class reloading and asset recompilation were governed by a walk of the project tree reading mtimes off of files, with Rails 5 we finally have a more enlightened, push-like model based upon file system events. For large projects,  the effect on the development experience is immense. Though this feature slipped in pretty stealthily, I feel that for practical purposes it is probably one of the most important and impactful changes in the framework’s history. Give it a try by updating to Rails 5.0.0 or higher.


Hi! I'm Nicholas and I like building stuff. I spent a decade working with startups in NYC as a developer before turning my attention to seed-stage investing beginning in 2018. I write here on topics including startups, investing, travel, software development, and just about any other matter of personal relevance. I can be reached by email at [email protected].

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