Rails form helpers for dates and times to be entered in text input fields rather than using the standard select lists
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= date_time_text_field_helpers

Apart from possibly the longest plugin name ever, these are a set of form helpers 
that use text fields instead of select dropdowns the standard Rails date form 
helpers use. Each date/time component gets its own text field which enables 
quicker entry using the keyboard while still using the built in Rails 
multi-parameter field handling.

Something I like about this plugin (coz I wanted the feature) is that it always 
returns the user entered values when a form is redisplayed. This means that if
the user enters garbage or an invalid date (requires date validation with 
the validates_timeliness plugin), when form is redisplayed the values
are as the user entered. This is so they can understand what they stuffed up 
rather than just blank or a shifted date value which you get when you enter 30th
February and have a date in March returned when using date_select. The shifted 
date is particularly dangerous if the user just clicks save again and doesn't 
pay attention.

== Features

* Allows easier keyboard entry of dates but with some constraint versus the open
  single text field approach.

* Easily add javascript behaviours to enable auto tabbing between fields (see 
  javascripts folder in this plugin).

* Returns user entered values if form redisplayed due to invalid date to aid 
  user correction.

* Harnesses the power of Ruby on Rails to maximize your potential to be the
  person you really want to be.

== Usage

So instead of:
  date_select :person, :date_of_birth
  time_select :person, :time_of_birth
  datetime_select :person, :date_and_time_of_birth

  date_text_field :person, :date_of_birth
  time_text_field :person, :time_of_birth
  datetime_text_field :person, :date_and_time_of_birth

== Example

The helper return the date parts as text fields i.e.

  date_text_field :person, :date_of_birth, :order => [:day, :month, :year], :blank => true
returns this for a new person record

  <span id="person_date_of_birth" class="date_time_field">
    <input id="person_date_of_birth_3i" class="day_field" type="text" value="" size="1" name="person[date_of_birth(3i)]"/>
    <input id="person_date_of_birth_2i" class="month_field" type="text" value="" size="1" name="person[date_of_birth(2i)]"/>
    <input id="person_date_of_birth_1i" class="year_field" type="text" value="" size="3" name="person[date_of_birth(1i)]"/>

== Options

Most of the options which can be used with the standard Rails date helpers apply
including :order, :default, :include_seconds and so on.

A few new options are:

  :date_separator - Sets the character displayed between the date components
  :time_separator - guess
  :date_time_separator - the separator between the date and the time parts
  :blank - acts like :include_blank option to use blank fields rather than the
           default current date/time if the column has no value yet.

== Resources

* javascripts/date_time_field_autotab.js 
    copy over to your apps javascripts folder or copy/paste into application.js

== Info

Site for the plugin is just the googlecode site

== Test/Specs

Only Rspec specs are included and can be run standalone outside a rails app

  rake spec

== Credits

* It is mostly adapted from the Rails source so props to DHH et al.
* Adam Meehan (adam.meehan at gmail.com)
== Copyright/License

Copyright (c) 2008 Adam Meehan, released under the MIT license