Simplify Communication with Ruby Chat Apps: Top Features and Code Snippets to Implement

Communication is an integral part of any application. With the Ruby programming language, you can easily build powerful chat apps that simplify communication. In this article, we'll explore some top features of Ruby chat apps and learn how to implement them using code snippets.

Top Features of Ruby Chat Apps

  1. Real-time Messaging: Ruby chat apps allow users to send and receive messages in real-time, streamlining communication and collaboration.

  2. Group Chat: Users can create group chats with multiple participants to discuss specific topics or collaborate on projects.

  3. File Sharing: Ruby chat apps enable users to share files, such as images, videos, and documents, within the chat environment.

  4. Message Search: With built-in search functionality, users can easily find specific messages or files in the chat history.

  5. Notifications: Users can receive notifications for new messages, mentions, and other chat events.

Implementing Top Features with Code Snippets

Real-time Messaging

To implement real-time messaging in a Ruby chat app, you can use the Action Cable library. Action Cable integrates WebSockets with the Rails application to provide real-time communication.

First, create a new Rails application with Action Cable:

rails new chat_app --webpack
cd chat_app

Next, generate a new channel:

rails generate channel Chat

In app/channels/chat_channel.rb, set up the subscribed and speak methods:

class ChatChannel < ApplicationCable::Channel
  def subscribed
    stream_from "chat_channel"

  def speak(data)
    ActionCable.server.broadcast "chat_channel", message: data['message']

In app/javascript/channels/chat_channel.js, add the following code:

import consumer from "./consumer";

consumer.subscriptions.create("ChatChannel", {
  connected() {
    console.log("Connected to the chat channel");

  received(data) {
    console.log("Received message:", data.message);

  speak(message) {
    this.perform("speak", { message });

Finally, in your view, you can use the above JavaScript code to send and receive messages.

Group Chat

To implement group chat, you can create a new model for chat groups and associate it with the User and Message models. Here's an example:

rails generate model ChatGroup name:string
rails generate model Membership user:references chat_group:references
rails generate model Message content:text user:references chat_group:references

Next, add associations between the models in app/models/chat_group.rb, app/models/membership.rb, and app/models/message.rb:

# chat_group.rb
class ChatGroup < ApplicationRecord
  has_many :memberships
  has_many :users, through: :memberships
  has_many :messages

# membership.rb
class Membership < ApplicationRecord
  belongs_to :user
  belongs_to :chat_group

# message.rb
class Message < ApplicationRecord
  belongs_to :user
  belongs_to :chat_group

File Sharing

To implement file sharing, you can use the Active Storage library. First, install Active Storage:

rails active_storage:install

Next, in app/models/message.rb, add the following code:

class Message < ApplicationRecord
  has_one_attached :file
  # ...

Now, you can attach a file to a message like this:

message = "Check out this file!")
message.file.attach(io:"path/to/file"), filename: "file_name")

Message Search

To search for specific messages in a chat, you can use the ransack gem. First, add the gem to your Gemfile:

gem 'ransack'

Next, in your MessagesController, add the following code:

def index
  @q = Message.ransack(params[:q])
  @messages = @q.result(distinct: true)

In your view, you can add a search form like this:

<%= search_form_for @q do |f| %>
  <%= f.label :content_cont, "Search" %>
  <%= f.search_field :content_cont %>
  <%= f.submit "Search" %>
<% end %>


To send notifications for new messages or mentions, you can use the noticed gem. First, add the gem to your Gemfile:

gem 'noticed'

Next, generate a new notification:

rails generate noticed:notification NewMessage

In app/notifications/new_message_notification.rb, customize the notification:

class NewMessageNotification < Noticed::Base
  deliver_by :database
  deliver_by :email, mailer: "UserMailer", method: "new_message"

  param :message

Finally, trigger the notification when a new message is created in the MessagesController:

def create
  @message =
    NewMessageNotification.with(message: @message).deliver(@message.chat_group.users)

With these features and code snippets, you can easily enhance your Ruby chat app's communication capabilities and streamline user interactions.

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