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resource_masher (2) Versions 0.9.0

Extend Resources (and LWRPs) with greater ability to export their attributes, including validation, merged default values, and formatting.

cookbook 'resource_masher', '= 0.9.0', :supermarket
cookbook 'resource_masher', '= 0.9.0'
knife supermarket install resource_masher
knife supermarket download resource_masher
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Resource Masher - Chef Cookbook

This cookbook provides a library which extends Chef Resource objects with new abilities to export their attribute
values, including default values, and with the added functionality of a Mash wrapper.

There are no sepcial requirements, it extends all resources generically.


Limitations of Chef default functionality

By default Chef provides a .to_hash method on Resources, which exports a Hash of its attributes; but
its implimentation is counter-intuitive.

If an LWRP supplies default values, and they are not overwritten, those keys/values are not included in Chef's
.to_hash export. By design the Hash behaves more like a serialization.


This cookbook adds the methods .attribute_mash and .attribute_mash_formatted to Chef resources.

The following example illustrates its usage in an LWRP provider. Please note:

  • You do not need to be within a provider to invoke these functions.
  • Only your cookbook needs to depend on the resource_masher, target resources require no modifications.

LWRP Example

Given the following sample LWRP resource describing a plugin:

actions :install, :remove
default_action :install

attribute :plugin_name, :name_attribute => true
attribute :vendor, :required => true
attribute :branch, :default => 'stable'
attribute :install_path, :default => '/opt/%{vendor}/%{plugin_name}'

And the following invocation from a recipie:

my_plugin_lwrp "sample_plugin" do
  action :install
  vendor "doe.corp"

Let's look at how the resource_masher helps in the provider:

action :install do

   # Let's export the new_resource a few different ways.
   # Perhaps for use with a Template's variables.

   # Export to Hash using Chef's default method.
   exp_chef     = new_resource.to_hash

   # Export to Mash using 'attribute_mash'.
   exp_mash     = new_resource.attribute_mash

   # Export to Mash using 'attribute_mash_formatted'.
   exp_mash_fmt = new_resource.attribute_mash_formatted

   # ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

   # PROBLEM: Chef's Hash is incomplete.
   # exp_chef is equal {
   #   :plugin_name => "sample_plugin",
   #   :vendor => "doe.corp"
   # }
   # !!! It's missing :branch and :install_path, which were defaults. !!!

   # INCONVENIENCE: Chef's Hash is just a Hash
   # You can only do this:
   #   exp_chef[:plugin_name]
   # Not:
   #   exp_chef["plugin_name"]
   #   exp_chef.plugin_name

   # ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

   # SOLUTION Part-1: Complete output (optionally formatted)
   # exp_mash is equal {
   #  :plugin_name => "sample_plugin",
   #  :vendor => "doe.corp",
   #  :branch => "stable",
   #  :install_path => "/opt/%{vendor}/%{plugin_name}"
   # }
   # With the formatted version, the :install_path is different...
   #   exp_mash_fmt[:install_path] is equal "/opt/doe.corp/sample_plugin"
   # !!! The string formatters were automatically back-filled !!!

   # SOLUTION Part-2: Our Mash, is a Mash, of course, of course
   # You can do all of these now:
   #   exp_mash[:plugin_name]
   #   exp_mash["plugin_name"]
   #   exp_mash.plugin_name
   #   exp_mash.symbolize_keys  # returns normal (complete) Hash



The .attribute_mash_formatted method replaces any tokens in String values with matching values defined on the

From the above example:

:install_path => "/opt/%{vendor}/%{plugin_name}" becomes /opt/doe.corp/sample_plugin

When using the formatting feature, please note the following:

  • The tokens use percent signs, not hash-marks. This is standard Ruby syntax for such operations. See here for more info
  • If the replacement requires recursion, there is a depth limit of three(3) to safe-guard infinate loops.
  • An undefined token will generate an exception, but you can supply extra data to avoid this.

You can supply additional data to inject with the formatting. This data acts as additional defaults,
any matching attributes on the resource itself will override the provided data.

extra_data = { :alpha => 'AAA', :beta => 'BBB' }
export = new_resource.attribute_mash_formatted(extra_data)

Bugs / Docs / Updates

Please see:


The cookbook uses semantic versioning. Releases will be numbered in the following format:


And constructed with the following guidelines:

  • Breaking backward compatibility bumps the major (and resets the minor and patch)
  • New additions without breaking backward compatibility bumps the minor (and resets the patch)
  • Bug fixes and misc changes bumps the patch

For more information on SemVer, visit

Authors and License

  • Author:: BinaryBabel OSS (
  • Copyright:: 2013 sha1(OWNER) = df334a7237f10846a0ca302bd323e35ee1463931
  • License:: Apache License, Version 2.0

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

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