Custom Table View Cell using Interface Builder with RubyMotion


I’m a RubyMotion newbie and I wanted to create a custom table view cell which simply had three labels – a title, a subtitle and a third label on the right side of the cell. I found a few help around for creating custom table view cell programmatically, which helped me do the job, but it didn’t look as nice as I wanted. Moreover, the benefits of using Interface Builder to easily layout and style the labels was something I was looking for. Fortunately, I was able to get around it myself after fiddling about it. Thought I’d share it for those who are looking for similar.

This post assumes you already have a table view controller in your project to which you want to add a custom table view cell. So I won’t go into much detail of adding them.

I use ib gem to use Interface Builder with RubyMotion. If you don’t, I highly recommend you do. My aim is to add a custom cell with three labels inside a table view controller, call it BooksController.

Create the table view controller

Create the table view cell class

Build the interface

Now, open Interface Builder using the rake ib command in Terminal from the root of your project. The ib gem will automatically create the appropriate interfaces and properties for you to be used inside IB.

Set Custom class for the table view controller in IB

Assuming you have a table view controller added to your storyboard, choose the table view controller and open Identity inspector on the right. Set the class to your controller name – “BooksController” for me.

Set datasource and delegate of the table view controller

Perhaps this is already done for you or drag them from Outlets inspector to the controller itself.

Set Custom class for cell

Now choose the table view cell on the storyboard and set the class to the class you created – CustomBookCell in my case.

Set Identifier for cell

In the Attributes inspector, set the Identifier of the cell to the identifier you specified in the code – BookCell for me.

Set tableview cell Style to Custom

In the Identity inspector, set the Style to Custom from the drop down.

Add three Labels to cell

Now add the three labels we need on the cell by dragging them from the Object library.

Style the labels as necessary

Feel free to make them look good.

Add auto layout constraints

Once the labels are in place, it is a good idea to set the auto layout constraints. This is easy as pie with IB and another great reason to use IB. Simply select the three labels together and choose from menu Editor -> Resolve Auto Layout Issues -> Reset to Suggested Constraints.

Drag outlets from Connections inspector to the labels as required

Finally, open Connections inspector and now you should see the outlets you created in your custom cell class under Outlets. Drag them to their respective labels.

Save and quit Interface Builder and fire up the app in simulator. You should now see the table view with your custom cell.

A sample app for this is available on Github.

Using Hstore in Rails 4 with PostgreSQL

Hstore basically gives you a schema-less data store in your PostgreSQL DB. This allows you to store the Hash in a Database column.

If you want to query Model records, it is very difficult if you use Serialize to store dynamic attributes. Hstore acts same as Serialize but we can additionally query the model records using Hstore.

Please follow below steps to enable Hstore in a Ruby on Rails 4 application.

rails generate migration enable_hstore_extension
class EnableHstoreExtension < ActiveRecord::Migration
  def change
    enable_extension 'hstore'

<pre>rake db:migrate</pre>

<pre>rails g migration AddPropertiesToChocolate</pre>

class AddPropertiesToChocolate < ActiveRecord::Migration
  def change
    add_column :chocolates, :properties, :hstore

<pre>rake db:migrate</pre>

<strong>Rails console:</strong>

p = Chocolate.last = {'color' =&gt; 'orange'}['price'] = '5'
Chocolate.where("properties -&gt; 'color' = 'orange' ")
Chocolate.where("properties -&gt; 'price' ='5' ")

Finally, you can define accessors for your Hstore keys in your model. Validations work just like they would for any other column in your model.

class Chocolate < ActiveRecord::Base
  # setup hstore
  store_accessor :properties, :color

  # can even run typical validations on hstore fields
  validates :color,
  inclusion: { in: %w{orange gold red} }