July 26, 2007

Rails: Error calling Dispatcher.dispatch...

I ran into a strange issue with one of my rails projects today - the browser displayed html source code in plain text instead of rendering. Nothing is listed in Firebug's net tab. Strange! Later I found the server was always sending back HTTP 404 with Content-type: text/plain. In the log, there were many lines of "Error calling Dispatcher.dispatch #<NameError: cannot remove Object::Handler>".

Finally, I found out that in a controller, someone has put include xxx at file level and in that module he defined class Handler. So that was it. After moving include xxx into the controller class definition, everything went well.

File level include (include outside class/module definition) actually affects Object - the mother of all ruby elves. So it's something we should definitely avoid in real world projects.

Never include outside class/module definition.

BTW, Rails is notoriously good at giving error messages unrelated to the cause of the problem. This is largely due to the dynamic nature of Ruby.


C. G. Brown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C. G. Brown said...

Thanks for this post! It helped me solve a nasty Rails problem I was experiencing.

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