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Builder

Builder in Ruby

Builder is a creational design pattern, which allows constructing complex objects step by step.

Unlike other creational patterns, Builder doesn’t require products to have a common interface. That makes it possible to produce different products using the same construction process.

Usage of the pattern in Ruby

Complexity:

Popularity:

Usage examples: The Builder pattern is a well-known pattern in Ruby world. It’s especially useful when you need to create an object with lots of possible configuration options.

Identification: The Builder pattern can be recognized in a class, which has a single creation method and several methods to configure the resulting object. Builder methods often support chaining (for example, someBuilder.setValueA(1).setValueB(2).create()).

Conceptual Example

This example illustrates the structure of the Builder design pattern. It focuses on answering these questions:

  • What classes does it consist of?
  • What roles do these classes play?
  • In what way the elements of the pattern are related?

main.rb: Conceptual example

# The Builder interface specifies methods for creating the different parts of
# the Product objects.
class Builder
  # @abstract
  def produce_part_a
    raise NotImplementedError, "#{self.class} has not implemented method '#{__method__}'"
  end

  # @abstract
  def produce_part_b
    raise NotImplementedError, "#{self.class} has not implemented method '#{__method__}'"
  end

  # @abstract
  def produce_part_c
    raise NotImplementedError, "#{self.class} has not implemented method '#{__method__}'"
  end
end

# The Concrete Builder classes follow the Builder interface and provide specific
# implementations of the building steps. Your program may have several
# variations of Builders, implemented differently.
class ConcreteBuilder1 < Builder
  # A fresh builder instance should contain a blank product object, which is
  # used in further assembly.
  def initialize
    reset
  end

  def reset
    @product = Product1.new
  end

  # Concrete Builders are supposed to provide their own methods for retrieving
  # results. That's because various types of builders may create entirely
  # different products that don't follow the same interface. Therefore, such
  # methods cannot be declared in the base Builder interface (at least in a
  # statically typed programming language).
  #
  # Usually, after returning the end result to the client, a builder instance is
  # expected to be ready to start producing another product. That's why it's a
  # usual practice to call the reset method at the end of the `getProduct`
  # method body. However, this behavior is not mandatory, and you can make your
  # builders wait for an explicit reset call from the client code before
  # disposing of the previous result.
  def product
    product = @product
    reset
    product
  end

  def produce_part_a
    @product.add('PartA1')
  end

  def produce_part_b
    @product.add('PartB1')
  end

  def produce_part_c
    @product.add('PartC1')
  end
end

# It makes sense to use the Builder pattern only when your products are quite
# complex and require extensive configuration.
#
# Unlike in other creational patterns, different concrete builders can produce
# unrelated products. In other words, results of various builders may not always
# follow the same interface.
class Product1
  def initialize
    @parts = []
  end

  # @param [String] part
  def add(part)
    @parts << part
  end

  def list_parts
    print "Product parts: #{@parts.join(', ')}"
  end
end

# The Director is only responsible for executing the building steps in a
# particular sequence. It is helpful when producing products according to a
# specific order or configuration. Strictly speaking, the Director class is
# optional, since the client can control builders directly.
class Director
  # @return [Builder]
  attr_accessor :builder

  def initialize
    @builder = nil
  end

  # The Director works with any builder instance that the client code passes to
  # it. This way, the client code may alter the final type of the newly
  # assembled product.
  def builder=(builder)
    @builder = builder
  end

  # The Director can construct several product variations using the same
  # building steps.

  def build_minimal_viable_product
    @builder.produce_part_a
  end

  def build_full_featured_product
    @builder.produce_part_a
    @builder.produce_part_b
    @builder.produce_part_c
  end
end

# The client code creates a builder object, passes it to the director and then
# initiates the construction process. The end result is retrieved from the
# builder object.

director = Director.new
builder = ConcreteBuilder1.new
director.builder = builder

puts 'Standard basic product: '
director.build_minimal_viable_product
builder.product.list_parts

puts "\n\n"

puts 'Standard full featured product: '
director.build_full_featured_product
builder.product.list_parts

puts "\n\n"

# Remember, the Builder pattern can be used without a Director class.
puts 'Custom product: '
builder.produce_part_a
builder.produce_part_b
builder.product.list_parts

output.txt: Execution result

Standard basic product: 
Product parts: PartA1

Standard full featured product: 
Product parts: PartA1, PartB1, PartC1

Custom product: 
Product parts: PartA1, PartB1

Builder in Other Languages

Design Patterns: Builder in Java Design Patterns: Builder in C# Design Patterns: Builder in C++ Design Patterns: Builder in PHP Design Patterns: Builder in Python Design Patterns: Builder in Swift Design Patterns: Builder in TypeScript Design Patterns: Builder in Go