How to Add Functionality to Ruby Classes with Decorators


How to Add Functionality to Ruby Classes with Decorators

Decorators allow us to add behavior to objects in runtime and don’t affect other objects of the class. Decorators can be applied when you need to dynamically add and remove responsibility to a class. The decorator pattern is a helpful alternative to creating sub-classes. They give additional functionality to a class while still keeping the public API consistent. Let’s look at an example to understand the importance of Ruby Decorators.

consider we have a Tattoo class with a price method that returns 300.

Class Tattoo
def price
300
end
end

Now we will add an extra color as a feature, and the price would be increased by 150

The simplest way is to create a TattooWithColour subclass that returns 450 in the price method.

class TattooWithColour < Tattoo
def price
450
end
end

Next, we need to represent a big tattoo that adds 200 to the price of our tattoos. We can represent this using a BigTattoo subclass of Tattoo.

class BigTattoo < Tattoo
def price
500
end
end

We could also have bigger sized tattoos and they may add further price to our BigTattoo. If we were to consider that these tattoos types could be used with colours, we would need to add BigTattooWithColour and BiggerTattooWithColour subclasses.

With this method, we end up with total of 6 classes. Even Double that the number if you want to represent these combinations with extra designs on tattoo.

Read full article at RailsCarma Blog. 

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