Yet another form handler for rails
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AwesomeForm is yet another form helper for Rails, but, contrary to Formtastic and SimpleForm it relies on partial views instead of html helpers.

Each input type is a partial in its theme directory, and wrappers are made using the layout option of the render method.

For instance, a boolean field will be rendered using a partial named _boolean in the app/views/awesome_form directory (See below for further explanation on partials lookup).

The same principles apply with form actions, each action is mapped to a partial file and eventually wrapped using a layout file.


Using AwesomeForm doesn't differ much of using Formtastic or SimpleForm:

= awesome_form_for resource, url: resource_path(resource) do |form|

  = form.inputs :attribute, :another_attribute

  = form.input :some_attribute, as: :boolean

  = form.actions :submit, :cancel

Model Attributes Discovery

When using the inputs method without any symbols as arguments (an options hash can be passed), the form builder will attempt to discover attributes of the model. By default it'll generate an input for every column of the model as well as for each association (both belongs_to and has_many associations).

Columns can be excluded by adding them to the AwesomeForm.excluded_columns array. By default, only timestamps columns are ignored.

AwesomeForm.setup do |config|
  config.excluded_columns << %w(column_to_ignore another_column_to_ignore)

By default, both belongs_to and has_many associations appears in discovered model's attributes. The default associations are configurable using the AwesomeForm.default_associations config.

AwesomeForm.setup do |config|
  config.default_associations = [:belongs_to]

Views Lookup

The lookup process for a form input takes place as follow:

First, we look for a partial for the given model attribute, either at the top level or in the selected theme:

  1. app/views/awesome_form/inputs/:object_name/:attribute_name
  2. app/views/awesome_form/:theme/inputs/:object_name/:attribute_name
If a partial cannot be found for the model attribute, we look for a
partial for the attribute's type:
  1. app/views/awesome_form/inputs/:attribute_type
  2. app/views/awesome_form/:theme/inputs/:attribute_type
  3. app/views/awesome_form/default_theme/inputs/:attribute_type
And if there's no partial for the attribute's type, we look for the
default input partial.
  1. app/views/awesome_form/inputs/default
  2. app/views/awesome_form/:theme/inputs/default
  3. app/views/awesome_form/default_theme/inputs/default

Inputs Wrappers

The same kind of lookup is used for fields wrappers, but instead of looking into the inputs view directory, it'll look into the wrappers directory.

  1. app/views/awesome_form/wrappers/:object_name/:attribute_name
  2. app/views/awesome_form/:theme/wrappers/:object_name/:attribute_name
  3. app/views/awesome_form/wrappers/:attribute_type
  4. app/views/awesome_form/:theme/wrappers/:attribute_type
  5. app/views/awesome_form/default_theme/wrappers/:attribute_type
  6. app/views/awesome_form/wrappers/default
  7. app/views/awesome_form/:theme/wrappers/default
  8. app/views/awesome_form/default_theme/wrappers/default

Fields wrappers are just layouts, and as every layout, the content of the view is injected where the yield keyword is found in the layout.

Action Views Lookup

A similar lookup is performed to find actions's views and wrappers:

For the action itself:

  1. awesome_form/actions/:object_name/:action
  2. awesome_form/:theme/actions/:object_name/:action
  3. awesome_form/actions/:action
  4. awesome_form/:theme/actions/:action
  5. awesome_form/default_theme/actions/:action
  6. awesome_form/actions/default
  7. awesome_form/:theme/actions/default
  8. awesome_form/default_theme/actions/default

And for the wrapper:

  1. awesome_form/wrappers/:object_name/:action
  2. awesome_form/:theme/wrappers/:object_name/:action
  3. awesome_form/wrappers/:action
  4. awesome_form/:theme/wrappers/:action
  5. awesome_form/default_theme/wrappers/:action

As you may notice, the action wrapper lookup doesn't fallback on any default.

Views Locals

When rendering a view for an input, both the layout and the input partial receive many locals that contains data about the field.

A basic input will receive:

  • attribute_name: The name of the attribute as passed to the input method.
  • model_name: The name of the model in snake_case format.
  • resource_name: The pluraized name of the model in snake_case format.
  • object_name: The name of the field prior to the call to input. For instance, when in a fields_for block for user.created_at, the object_name is equal user[created_at].
  • object: A reference to the target object of the form.
  • builder: A reference to the builder object of the form.
  • type: The type of input to generate for the attribute.

And according to the model attribute type, the locals object will also contains more specialized properties:

  • column_type: For a simple column (not an association), it will contains the type of the database column such as defined in the schema (:integer, :string, etc.).
  • association_type: If the attribute is an association, the association_type is set with the name of the association (:belongs_to, :has_many, etc.).
  • collection: When type is select or association, an array containing the possible values for the field.
  • selected: When type is select or association, an array containing the selected values for the field.

And of course all the options passed to the input method are available as locals in the view.

Actions locals only differs in that type and attribute_name are replaced with action and name.