Yehuda Katz is a member of the Ember.js, Ruby on Rails and jQuery Core Teams; his 9-to-5 home is at the startup he founded, Tilde Inc.. There he works on Skylight, the smart profiler for Rails, and does Ember.js consulting. He is best known for his open source work, which also includes Thor and Handlebars. He travels the world doing open source evangelism and web standards work.
jQuery on Rails… Alpha (very very Alpha)
May 25th, 2007
UPDATE: The information in this post is outdated. Please check out the follow-up post for more details.
I’ve posted the first release of jQuery on Rails on the jQuery svn (you can check it out at http://code.google.com/p/jqueryjs/source).
This is a very early alpha, with fairly limited functionality, but I really wanted to get it out there so people can take a look at it (and hopefully provide feedback).
You’re going to need to download two things from trunk/tools in the jQuery svn. (1) jQuery on Rails; (2) Hpricot.
Even if you’re already using hpricot, you’re going to need the special patched version that improves compatibility with jQuery. The plugin relies on strict compatibility, and there were a number of bugs (such as :even and :odd returning wildly different numbers of elements due to an incompatible implementation).
To compile hpricot, you will also need ragel. If you’re on OSX, a simple sudo port install ragel should do the trick (make sure you’re on the latest version of MacPorts; you can update via sudo port selfupdate).
After you’re done with Ragel, go into the hpricot directory and do a rake install. You’re going to get a new version of hpricot (0.5.142, which corresponds to the svn version that the patch is based on).
You can add jQuery on Rails to your project as a plugin by doing script/plugin install http://jqueryjs.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/tools/jquery_on_rails
You’ll also need to add <%= include_jquery %> in your layouts. It’ll automatically include the jQuery library, some common plugins, as well as the compiled file. If you want to change the files that are included by default, edit the JQueryOnRails::JQUERY_LIBRARY constant in init.rb of the plugin.
How to use it
- Use a selector to select some elements on your page, and do stuff with them (that’s what jQuery’s for!).
- Restart your web server, and navigate to the page. You should see an included JS file called app_jquery that contains your code.
This is a fairly skeletal plugin. I’m going to be adding some extra caching options, so you don’t need two hits to the server for each page load.
I’m also going to be adding some helpers, as well as a small jQuery plugin to simplify markup generation for common cases (so you’d be able to do <%= sortable_table ... do %> and stuff like that).
Porting the existing Prototype helpers is not at the top of my list, but I might do some of the more common ones to ease in the transition.
As always, feel free to contact me at outlookeic on AIM or wycats AT gmail DOT com with any questions!