Creating a download click tracker in Rails 4 – Also, Run-ins with Turbolinks

A Friday lunchtime double feature for you.

The task: create a click tracker, to keep a rough (accuracy isn’t of core importance, but why skimp?) measure of the number of time s a link has been clicked by site users.

Here’s some sample code I used for the new version of GiantsLive which contains a digital downloads feature.

The task is a fairly simple one, it doesn’t even require a controller, but here we use a migration to create a stats table, and a model to provide a simple API.

The ‘object_key’ I’ve used refers to an AmazonS3 object’s unique name (within a bucket), this is because each ‘fixture’ has several video files available to download.

Migration

Model

Usage

You could create a helper method to present the detail neatly, but that’s up to you. Hope that code is helpful, if you have any suggestions on how to clean it up any further do use the comments below.

Part 2: Turbolinks causing 403 problems

Or maybe just one. Rails 4.0 introduces a new feature called https://github.com/rails/turbolinks/ which is intended to reduce the amount of server requests caused by a page change, in very simple terms it means that instead of looking for CSS, JS and font files every time you click a link, it just asks for the HTML + images. I was getting a strange quirk in my tracking code whereby every click was creating two increment actions. I finally figured out the problem by looking my logs. An excerpt here:

You’ll notice the “Complete 403 Forbidden” first, then “Completed 302 Found” second. Turbolinks appears to have been requesting the file, failing and then resorting to a page reload. This caused the tracker to be triggered twice, and the statistics to be incorrect.

There is an open ticket on github regarding this issue. [h/t @StuartGibson]

A fix

As per the Turbolinks documentation, adding the html data attribute data-no-turbolink on a parent tag will disable any turbolink action from occuring. So, in my case:

<ul data-no-turbolink="">...

Problem solved.

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