Ruby ExtJS Tools



A collection of helpers, MVC mixins and PORs (plain-old-ruby-object) to assist with auto-generating ExtJS Stores ( including its associated DataReader (, and DataWriter (, Also contains a helper for rendering javascript component definitions via partials.

See tutorial


% sudo gem install gemcutter % gem tumble (only have to do this once, adds gemcutter as primary gem-source) % sudo gem install extjs-mvc

Rails Installation: In environment.rb, do |config|
    config.gem "extjs-mvc"

Merb installation: In config/dependencies.rb, Add extjs-mvc as a new dependency dependency “extjs-mvc”

An ORM Model mixin: ExtJS::Model

extjs-mvc contains Model mixin named ExtJS::Model which works for three popular ORM frameworks, ActiveRecord, DataMapper and MongoMapper. The API for each framework is identical.

Simply include the mixin into your model. Use the class-method extjs_fields to specify those fields with will be used to render the field-def'n.

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  include ExtJS::Model

  extjs_fields :exclude => [:password, :password_confirmation]

  # OR 
  extjs_fields :name, :description

  # OR
  extjs_fields :only => [:name, :description] # actually the same as above

  # OR
  extjs_fields :additional => [:computed] # includes all database columns and an additional computed field

  # OR define a column as a Hash
  extjs_fields :description, :name => {"sortDir" => "ASC"}, :created_at => {"dateFormat" => "c"}

  # OR render associations, association-fields will have their "mapping" property set automatically
  extjs_fields :name, :description, :company => [:name, :description]

  def computed
    name.blank? ? login : name

After including the model mixin ExtJS::Model, try typing the following in irb console:

>> User.extjs_record
=> { :idProperty=>"id", :fields=>[
     {:type=>'int', :allowBlank=>true, :name=>"id"},
     {:type=>'string', :allowBlank=>false, :name=>"first", :defaultValue => nil},
     {:type=>'string', :allowBlank=>false, :name=>"last", :defaultValue => nil},
     {:type=>'string', :allowBlank=>false, :name=>"email", :defaultValue => nil}

An auto-generated configuration!

You can also define different sets of fields for different representations of your model.

E.g. with the following definition:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  include ExtJS::Model

  extjs_fieldset :grid, fields => [:name, :description, :company => [:name, :description]]
  extjs_fieldset :combo, [:full_name]

  def full_name
    "#{first_name} #{name}"

You can get store configs for both representations with




And the corresponding data for the representations with




An ActionController mixin: ExtJS::Controller

The extjs-mvc Gem includes a framework agnostic Controller mixin which works with both Rails and Merb. Include this mixin into any controller which will need to generate an usage:

class UsersController < ActionController::Base
    include ExtJS::Controller

View Helper: ExtJS::Helpers::Component


class UserController < ActionController::Base
  include ExtJS::Controller
  helper ExtJS::Helpers::Component

Now render Ext components using helper method extjs_component

@viewport = extjs_component(
  "xtype" => "viewport",
  "frame" => true,
  "layout" => "border")
@viewport.add("xtype" => "panel", "contentEl" => "hd", "region" => "north", "height" => 30)
@viewport.add(:partial => "/users/grid", "itemId" => "users-grid", "region" => "west")
@viewport.add(:partial => "/tasks/grid", "itemId" => "tasks-grid", "region" => "center")
@viewport.add("xtype" => "panel", "contentEl" => "ft", "region" => "south", "height" => 20)

Note how it can also render partials. Partials will be invoked with a local-variable named “container”, a reference to the parent Ext::Component instance which added the partial. If no “container” is specified, it would be expected that your partial would provide its own “renderTo” or “contentEl” property, just as in Ext.Component from ExtJS javascript library.

View Helper: ExtJS::Helpers::Store

Renders an with helper method extjs_store

class UserController < ActionController::Base
  include ExtJS::Controller
  helper ExtJS::Helpers::Store

Now render a store in an erb template:

@store = extjs_store(
  :controller => "users",

:fieldset => :grid, # <– Specify a particular fieldset as defined in the Model (used to render DataReader)

  :proxy => "http"  # <-- default
  :format => "json" # <-- default
  :model => "user", # <-- default: controller_name.singularize
  :writer => {:encode => false},
  :config => {      # <-- standard config-params
    "autoLoad" => true
    "autoSave" => true

%= @store.render %

A Testing Mixin: ExtJS::TestMacros

The extjs-mvc Gem includes a small set of testing macros to help unit-test models. This requires the 'Shoulda' gem from thoughtbot. Include this mixin inside the ActiveSupport::TestCase class in test/test_helper.rb



class ActiveSupport::TestCase
  extend ExtJS::TestMacros

In individual model unit tests:

class ModelTest < ActiveSupport::TestCase
  should_require_extjs_fields :name, :email, :city
  #other tests

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.

  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.

  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.

  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)

  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.


Copyright © 2009 Chris Scott. See LICENSE for details.