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A Rails gem for easy imgix integration into Rails projects
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imgix-rails is a gem designed to make integrating imgix into your Rails app easier. It builds on imgix-rb to offer a few Rails-specific interfaces.

imgix is a real-time image processing service and CDN. It allows you to manipulate images merely by changing their URL parameters. For a full list of URL parameters, please see the imgix URL API documentation.

We recommend using something like Paperclip, Refile, Carrierwave, or s3_direct_upload to handle uploads. After they've been uploaded, you can then serve them using this gem.

Installation

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'imgix-rails'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Usage

imgix-rails provides a few different hooks to work with your existing Rails application. All current methods are drop-in replacements for the image_tag helper.

Configuration

Before you get started, you will need to define your imgix configuration in your config/application.rb, or in an environment-specific configuration file.

Rails.application.configure do
  config.imgix = {
    source: "assets.imgix.net"
  }
end

The following configuration flags will be respected:

  • :use_https toggles the use of HTTPS. Defaults to true
  • :source a String or Array that specifies the imgix Source address. Should be in the form of "assets.imgix.net".
  • :srcset_width_tolerance an optional numeric value determining the maximum tolerance allowable, between the downloaded dimensions and rendered dimensions of the image (default .08 i.e. 8%).
  • :secure_url_token an optional secure URL token found in your dashboard (https://dashboard.imgix.com) used for signing requests
  • :shard_strategy Specify domain sharding strategy with multiple sources. Acceptable values are :cycle and :crc. :crc is used by default.

Multi-source configuration

In addition to the standard configuration flags, the following options can be used for multi-source support.

  • :sources a Hash of imgix source-secure_url_token key-value pairs. If the value for a source is nil, URLs generated for the corresponding source won't be secured. :sources and :source cannot be used together.
  • :default_source optionally specify a default source for generating URLs.

Example:

Rails.application.configure do
  config.imgix = {
    sources: {
      "assets.imgix.net"  => "foobarbaz",
      "assets2.imgix.net" => nil,   # Will generate unsigned URLs
    },
    default_source: "assets.imgix.net"
  }
end

ix_image_tag

The ix_image_tag helper method makes it easy to pass parameters to imgix to handle resizing, cropping, etc. It also simplifies adding responsive imagery to your Rails app by automatically generating a srcset based on the parameters you pass. We talk a bit about using the srcset attribute in an application in the following blog post: “Responsive Images with srcset and imgix.”.

ix_image_tag generates <img> tags with a filled-out srcset attribute that leans on imgix to do the hard work. If you already know the minimum or maximum number of physical pixels that this image will need to be displayed at, you can pass the min_width and/or max_width options. This will result in a smaller, more tailored srcset.

ix_image_tag takes the following arguments:

  • source: an optional String indicating the source to be used. If unspecified :source or :default_source will be used. If specified, the value must be defined in the config.
  • path: The path or URL of the image to display.
  • tag_options: Any options to apply to the generated img element. This is useful for adding class names, etc.
  • url_params: The imgix URL parameters to apply to this image. These will be applied to each URL in the srcset attribute, as well as the fallback src attribute.
<%= ix_image_tag('/unsplash/hotairballoon.jpg', url_params: { w: 300, h: 500, fit: 'crop', crop: 'right'}, tag_options: { alt: 'A hot air balloon on a sunny day' }) %>

Will render out HTML like the following:

<img
  alt="A hot air balloon on a sunny day"
  sizes="100vw"
  srcset="
    https://assets.imgix.net/unsplash/hotairballoon.jpg?w=100&amp;h=167&amp;fit=crop&amp;crop=right 100w,
    https://assets.imgix.net/unsplash/hotairballoon.jpg?w=200&amp;h=333&amp;fit=crop&amp;crop=right 200w,

    https://assets.imgix.net/unsplash/hotairballoon.jpg?w=2560&amp;h=4267&amp;fit=crop&amp;crop=right 2560w
  "
  src="https://assets.imgix.net/unsplash/hotairballoon.jpg?w=300&amp;h=500&amp;fit=crop&amp;crop=right"
>

Similarly

<%= ix_image_tag('assets2.imgix.net', '/unsplash/hotairballoon.jpg') %>

Will generate URLs using assets2.imgix.net source.

We recommend leveraging this to generate powerful helpers within your application like the following:

def profile_image_tag(user)
  ix_image_tag(user.profile_image_url, url_params: { w: 100, h: 200, fit: 'crop' })
end

Then rendering the portrait in your application is very easy:

<%= profile_image_tag(@user) %>

If you already know all the exact widths you need images for, you can specify that by passing the widths option as an array. In this case, imgix-rails will only generate srcset pairs for the specified widths.

<%= ix_image_tag('/unsplash/hotairballoon.jpg', widths: [320, 640, 960, 1280], url_params: { w: 300, h: 500, fit: 'crop', crop: 'right'}, tag_options: { alt: 'A hot air balloon on a sunny day' }) %>

ix_picture_tag

The ix_picture_tag helper method makes it easy to generate picture elements in your Rails app. picture elements are useful when an images needs to be art directed differently at different screen sizes.

ix_picture_tag takes the following arguments:

  • source: an optional String indicating the source to be used. If unspecified :source or :default_source will be used. If specified, the value must be defined in the config.
  • path: The path or URL of the image to display.
  • tag_options: Any options to apply to the parent picture element. This is useful for adding class names, etc.
  • url_params: Default imgix options. These will be used to generate a fallback img tag for older browsers, and used in each source unless overridden by breakpoints.
  • breakpoints: A hash describing the variants. Each key must be a media query (e.g. (max-width: 880px)), and each value must be a hash of parameter overrides for that media query. A source element will be generated for each breakpoint specified.
<%= ix_picture_tag('bertandernie.jpg',
  tag_options: {
    class: 'a-picture-tag'
  },
  url_params: {
    w: 300,
    h: 300,
    fit: 'crop',
  },
  breakpoints: {
    '(max-width: 640px)' => {
      url_params: {
        h: 100,
      },
      tag_options: {
        sizes: 'calc(100vw - 20px)'
      }
    },
    '(max-width: 880px)' => {
      url_params: {
        crop: 'right',
      },
      tag_options: {
        sizes: 'calc(100vw - 20px - 50%)'
      }
    },
    '(min-width: 881px)' => {
      url_params: {
        crop: 'left',
      },
      tag_options: {
        sizes: '430px'
      }
    }
  }
) %>

To generate a picture element on a different source:

<%= ix_picture_tag('assets2.imgix.net', 'bertandernie.jpg',
      tag_options: {},
      url_params: {},
      breakpoints: {
        '(max-width: 640px)' => {
          url_params: { h: 100 },
          tag_options: { sizes: 'calc(100vw - 20px)' }
        },
      }
   ) %>

ix_image_url

The ix_image_url helper makes it easy to generate a URL to an image in your Rails app.

ix_image_url takes four arguments:

  • source: an optional String indicating the source to be used. If unspecified :source or :default_source will be used. If specified, the value must be defined in the config.
  • path: The path or URL of the image to display.
  • options: The imgix URL parameters to apply to this image URL.
<%= ix_image_url('/users/1/avatar.png', { w: 400, h: 300 }) %>
<%= ix_image_url('assets2.imgix.net', '/users/1/avatar.png', { w: 400, h: 300 }) %>

Will generate the following URLs:

https://assets.imgix.net/users/1/avatar.png?w=400&h=300
https://assets2.imgix.net/users/1/avatar.png?w=400&h=300

Since ix_image_url lives inside UrlHelper, it can also be used in places other than your views quite easily. This is useful for things such as including imgix URLs in JSON output from a serializer class.

include Imgix::Rails::UrlHelper

puts ix_image_url('/users/1/avatar.png', { w: 400, h: 300 })
# => https://assets.imgix.net/users/1/avatar.png?w=400&h=300

Usage in Sprockets

ix_image_url is also pulled in as a Sprockets helper, so you can generate imgix URLs in your asset pipeline files. For example, here's how it would work inside an .scss.erb file:

.something {
  background-image: url(<%= ix_image_url('a-background.png', { w: 400, h: 300 }) %>);
}

Using With Image Uploading Libraries

imgix-rails plays well with image uploading libraries, because it just requires a URL and optional parameters as arguments. A good way to handle this interaction is by creating helpers that bridge between your uploading library of choice and imgix-rails. Below are examples of how this can work with some common libraries. Please submit an issue if you'd like to see specific examples for another!

Paperclip and CarrierWave

Paperclip and CarrierWave can directly provide paths to uploaded images, so we can use them with imgix-rails without a bridge.

<%= ix_image_tag(@user.avatar.path, { auto: 'format', fit: 'crop', w: 500}) %>

Refile

Since Refile doesn't actually store URLs or paths in the database (instead using a "prefix" + image identifier), the basic setup is slightly different. In this case, we use a couple helpers that bridge between Refile and imgix-rails.

module ImgixRefileHelper
  def ix_refile_image_url(obj, key, **opts)
    path = s3_path(obj, key)
    path ? ix_image_url(path, opts) : ''
  end

  def ix_refile_image_tag(obj, key, **opts)
    path = s3_path(obj, key)
    path ? ix_image_tag(path, opts) : ''
  end

private
  def s3_path(obj, key)
    refile_id = obj["#{key}_id"]
    s3_prefix = obj.send(key).try(:backend).instance_variable_get(:@prefix)

    s3_prefix ? "#{s3_prefix}/#{refile_id}" : nil
  end
end
<%= ix_refile_image_tag(@blog_post, :hero_photo, {auto: 'format', fit: 'crop', w: 500}) %>

Active Storage

To set up imgix with ActiveStorage, first ensure that the remote source your ActiveStorage service is pointing to is the same as your imgix source — such as an s3 bucket.

config/storage.yml

service: S3
access_key_id: <%= Rails.application.credentials.dig(:aws, :access_key_id) %>
secret_access_key: <%= Rails.application.credentials.dig(:aws, :secret_access_key) %>
region: us-east-1
bucket: your_own_bucket

Modify your active_storage.service setting depending on what environment you are using. For example, to use Amazon s3 in production, make the following change:

config/environments/production.rb

config.active_storage.service = :amazon

As you would normally with imgix-rails, configure your application to point to your imgix source:

config/application.rb

Rails.application.configure do
      config.imgix = {
        source: your_domain,
        use_https: true,
        include_library_param: true
      }
end

Finally, the two can be used together by passing in the filename of the ActiveStorage blob into the imgix-rails helper function:

show.html.erb

<%= ix_image_tag(@your_model.image.key) %>

Development

After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release to create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to rubygems.org.

Contributing

  1. Fork it ( https://github.com/[my-github-username]/imgix-rails/fork )
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create a new Pull Request

Code of Conduct

Users contributing to or participating in the development of this project are subject to the terms of imgix's Code of Conduct.

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