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I've got a rake task that I am making that needs to insert a value into multiple databases.

I'd like to be able to pass this value into the rake task from the command line, or from another rake task, how can I do this?

Answered By: Nick Desjardins ( 388)

You can specify formal arguments in rake by adding symbol arguments to the task call. For example:

require 'rake'

task :my_task, :arg1, :arg2 do |t, args|
  puts "Args were: #{args}"

task :invoke_my_task do
  Rake.application.invoke_task("my_task[1, 2]")

# or if you prefer this syntax...
task :invoke_my_task_2 do
  Rake::Task[:my_task].invoke(3, 4)

# a task with prerequisites passes its 
# arguments to it prerequisites
task :with_prerequisite, :arg1, :arg2, :needs => :my_task

# equivalently...
task :with_prerequisite_2, [:arg1, :arg2] => :my_task

# to specify default values, 
# we take advantage of args being a Rake::TaskArguments object
task :with_defaults, :arg1, :arg2 do |t, args|
  args.with_defaults(:arg1 => :default_1, :arg2 => :default_2)
  puts "Args with defaults were: #{args}"

Then, from the command line:

> rake my_task[1,2]
Args were: {:arg1=>"1", :arg2=>"2"}

> rake "my_task[1, 2]"
Args were: {:arg1=>"1", :arg2=>"2"}

> rake invoke_my_task
Args were: {:arg1=>"1", :arg2=>"2"}

> rake invoke_my_task_2
Args were: {:arg1=>3, :arg2=>4}

> rake with_prerequisite[5,6]
Args were: {:arg1=>"5", :arg2=>"6"}

> rake with_prerequisite_2[7,8]
Args were: {:arg1=>"7", :arg2=>"8"}

> rake with_defaults
Args with defaults were: {:arg1=>:default_1, :arg2=>:default_2}

> rake with_defaults['x','y']
Args with defaults were: {:arg1=>"x", :arg2=>"y"}

As demonstrated in the second example, if you want to use spaces, the quotes around the target name are necessary to keep the shell from splitting up the arguments at the space.

Looking at the code in rake.rb, it appears that rake does not parse task strings to extract arguments for prerequisites, so you can't do task :t1 => "dep[1,2]". The only way to specify different arguments for a prerequisite would be to invoke it explicitly within the dependent task action, as in :invoke_my_task and :invoke_my_task_2.


I'm having a really frustrating issue: Rake is being dumb.

Here's how the problem comes about:

$ rails new test_app
$ rails generate scaffold new_scaffold field1:string field2:text

Both of those work just fine, but then when I do this,

$ rake db:migrate

I get the following error.

(in /home/mikhail/test_app)
rake aborted!
uninitialized constant Rake::DSL
/usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rake.rb:2482:in `const_missing'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/rake-0.9.0/lib/rake/tasklib.rb:8:in `<class:TaskLib>'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/rake-0.9.0/lib/rake/tasklib.rb:6:in `<module:Rake>'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/rake-0.9.0/lib/rake/tasklib.rb:3:in `<top (required)>'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/rake-0.9.0/lib/rake/rdoctask.rb:20:in `require'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/rake-0.9.0/lib/rake/rdoctask.rb:20:in `<top (required)>'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/railties-3.0.7/lib/rails/tasks/documentation.rake:1:in `require'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/railties-3.0.7/lib/rails/tasks/documentation.rake:1:in `<top (required)>'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/railties-3.0.7/lib/rails/tasks.rb:15:in `load'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/railties-3.0.7/lib/rails/tasks.rb:15:in `block in <top (required)>'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/railties-3.0.7/lib/rails/tasks.rb:6:in `each'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/railties-3.0.7/lib/rails/tasks.rb:6:in `<top (required)>'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/railties-3.0.7/lib/rails/application.rb:214:in `require'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/railties-3.0.7/lib/rails/application.rb:214:in `initialize_tasks'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/railties-3.0.7/lib/rails/application.rb:139:in `load_tasks'
/usr/lib/ruby/gems/1.9.1/gems/railties-3.0.7/lib/rails/application.rb:77:in `method_missing'
/home/mikhail/test_app/Rakefile:7:in `<top (required)>'
/usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rake.rb:2373:in `load'
/usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rake.rb:2373:in `raw_load_rakefile'
/usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rake.rb:2007:in `block in load_rakefile'
/usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rake.rb:2058:in `standard_exception_handling'
/usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rake.rb:2006:in `load_rakefile'
/usr/lib/ruby/1.9.1/rake.rb:1991:in `run'
/usr/bin/rake:31:in `<main>'

I've looked about the Internet for similar/same errors, and people have had them. Just no one ever seems to solve the problem!

How do I fix this problem?

Answered By: Caley Woods ( 185)

A tweet from DHH earlier. Rake .9.0 breaks Rails and several other things, you need to:

gem "rake", "0.8.7"

in your Gemfile.