A rails3 unobtrusive in-place-editing plugin, using jQuery/jEditable.
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On-the-spot is a Rails3 compliant unobtrusive javascript in-place-editing plugin, using jEditable, and depends on jQuery.


Inside your Gemfile add the following:

gem "on_the_spot"

Run the installation task:

rails g on_the_spot:install

Inside your routes.rb you need to provide the following route:

resources :posts do
  collection do
    put :update_attribute_on_the_spot

You need to do this for each controller that uses the on-the-spot editing. For the moment i do not know of any better solution, but i am always open for suggestions!

Inside your application.html.haml you will need to add below the default javascripts:

= javascript_include_tag :on_the_spot

or using erb, you write

<%= javascript_include_tag :on_the_spot %>

That is all you need to do to start using it!


Inside your controller you write:

class YourController < ApplicationController


  ... leave the rest of your controller alone ...


And inside your view you will have to specify the fields you want to be "editable" :

Username: <%= on_the_spot_edit @user, :name %>

It should be as simple as that :)

Detailed options

The on_the_spot_edit also accepts options:

  • :type : :textarea or :select (none means default edit)
  • :ok_text : the text for the ok-button
  • :cancel_text : the text for the cancel-button
  • :display_text: if you want to overrule the displayed text, especially useful when using your own :url or :loadurl
  • :tooltip : the tooltip-text
  • :rows: for textarea, the number of rows, defaults to 5
  • :columns: for textarea, the number of columns, defaults to 40
  • :data: for select, the lookup-data, should be in an array of id-value pairs. E.g. [[1, 'ok'], [2, 'not ok'], [3, 'not decided']].
  • :loadurl: for select, an url that will return the data in JSON format (use instead of :data)
  • :url: URL to post to if you don't want to use the standard routes

For the texts: if a text is not specified, the default is taken from the on_the_spot.en.yml (or your current language).

Example Usages

Edit field

<%= on_the_spot_edit @user, :name %>


<%= on_the_spot_edit @user, :description, :type => :textarea, :rows => 10, :columns => 55 %>


<%= on_the_spot_edit @user, :rating, :type => :select, :data => [[1, 'good'], [2, 'mediocre'], [3, 'bad']] %>

Example project

There is an example rails3-project called on_the_spot_tester


As jEditable depends on jQuery, your rails3 project needs to use jQuery. It will not work if you use Prototype instead, in your rails3 project. I have written an article here how to start a fresh rails3 project, using jQuery. In short, you add the following to your Gemfile:

gem "jquery-rails"

and, after a bundle install, you run

rails g jquery:install

That will download and install all the necessary files for you.

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 (c) 2010 nathanvda. See LICENSE for details.