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A RESTful unobtrusive jQuery Inplace-Editor and a helper as a Rails Gem
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Best In Place

The Unobtrusive in Place editing solution


Best in Place is a jQuery based AJAX Inplace-Editor that takes profit of RESTful server-side controllers to allow users to edit stuff with no need of forms. If the server have standard defined REST methods, particularly those to UPDATE your objects (HTTP PUT), then by adding the Javascript file to the application it is making all the fields with the proper defined classes to become user in-place editable.

The editor works by PUTting the updated value to the server and GETting the updated record afterwards to display the updated value.



  • Compatible with text inputs
  • Compatible with textarea
  • Compatible with select dropdown with custom collections
  • Compatible with custom boolean values (like checkboxes)
  • Sanitize HTML and trim spaces of user's input
  • Displays server-side validation errors

Usage of Rails 3 Gem

best_in_place Object, Field, [Type, [SelectValues]]

The object is the object itself you are about to modify. The field (passed as symbol) is the represented attribute of the Object. You can add the type [:input, :textarea, :select, :checkbox] and, in case you chose :select, you must specify the collection of values it can take.

If created a test_app and a running demo in heroku to test the features.

Examples (code placed in the views):


<%= best_in_place @user, :name, :input %>


<%= best_in_place @user, :description, :textarea %>


<%= best_in_place @user, :country, :select, [[1, "Spain"], [2, "Italy"], [3, "Germany"], [4, "France"]] %>

Of course it can take an instance or global variable for the collection, just remember the structure [[key, value], [key, value],...]


<%= best_in_place @user, :receive_emails, :checkbox, ["No, thanks", "Yes, of course!"] %>

The first value is always the negative boolean value and the second the positive. If not defined, it will display Yes and No options.


It works by simply copying and loading the files from the folder /public/javascripts to your application and loading them in your layouts in the following order:

  • jquery-1.4.2.js
  • jquery.purr.js
  • best_in_place.js

To be able to use the script the following block must be added as well:

$(document).ready(function() {
  /* Activating Best In Place */

In order to use the Rails 3 gem, just add the following line to the gemfile:

gem "best_in_place", :git => ""


  • Client Side Validation definitions
  • To accept given click handlers
  • To accept a handler to activate all best_in_place fields at once

Authors and License

Version by Bernat Farrero based on the original project of Jan Varwig and released under MIT.

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