While developing my blog in Rails, I resolved to include a mechanism for assigning arbitrary, SEO-friendly URLs to my content, similar to what the Path module in Drupal does. Such a feature is common in popular blogging engines like WordPress and Blogger, so it didn’t seem such a far-fetched feature.

Implementing the functionality turned out to be much more difficult that I had first imagined. The problems I encountered, which led me deep into the bowels of Rails to understand and resolve, have left me with a vastly improved understanding of how a Rails application works. Below, I detail some of those problems and how I overcame them. Continue reading