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Tablematic

Introduction

There are a bunch of other Rails table generators out there. This is mine.

Tabletastic is a gem to help quickly emit tabular data in a Rails web view. I created it because 1) I found myself doing this all the time, and it seemed like I could make it generic and package it as a gem, and 2) companies always want to see open source code samples when you apply for jobs, so it made sense to create some!

Installation

(Eventually, when I put this on rubygems) in your Rails project, Gemfile: gem "tablematic"

Usage

The simplest use of tablematic is to invoke the helper method with a variable that contains a collection of ActiveRecord objects, thusly:

<%= table_for(@posts) %>

Let's say you have a table named posts, and it contains the following data:

id created_at updated_at added_by title content
1 2015-08-06 2015-08-06 Lisa Marie Elvis had a Twin On January 8, 1935, Elvis Aron (later spelled Aaron) Presley was born at his parents' two-room house in East Tupelo, Mississippi, about 35 minutes after his identical twin brother, Jesse Garon, who was stillborn.
2 2015-08-06 2015-08-06 Priscilla Graceland In 1957, when he was just 22, Elvis shelled out $102,500 for Graceland, the Memphis mansion that served as his home base for two decades.
3 2015-08-06 2015-08-06 Elvis Himself Col. Tom Barker Elvis's future manager immigrated illegally to America as a young man, where he reinvented himself as Tom Parker and claimed to be from West Virginia. He worked as a pitchman for traveling carnivals, followed by stints as dog catcher and pet cemetery founder, among other occupations, then managed the careers of several country music singers.

Note: Check the unit tests for more Elvis Facts(tm)

Calling table_for on the table above would generate a table that looks like this:

<table class=' tablematic'>
  <thead>
    <tr>
      <th class='id integer'>Id</th>
      <th class='created_at datetime'>Created at</th>
      <th class='updated_at datetime'>Updated at</th>
      <th class='added_by string'>Added by</th>
      <th class='title string'>Title</th>
      <th class='content text'>Content</th>
    </tr>
  </thead>
  <tbody>
    <tr class='even'>
      <td class='id integer'>1</td>
      <td class='created_at datetime'>2015-08-06 12:04:05 UTC</td>
      <td class='updated_at datetime'>2015-08-06 12:04:05 UTC</td>
      <td class='added_by string'>Lisa Marie</td>
      <td class='title string'>Elvis had a Twin</td>
      <td class='content text'>On January 8, 1935, Elvis Aron (later spelled Aaron) Presley was born at his parents’ two-room house in East Tupelo, Mississippi, about 35 minutes after his identical twin brother, Jesse Garon, who was stillborn.</td>
    </tr>
    <tr class='odd'>
      <td class='id integer'>2</td>
      <td class='created_at datetime'>2015-08-06 12:04:05 UTC</td>
      <td class='updated_at datetime'>2015-08-06 12:04:05 UTC</td>
      <td class='added_by string'>Priscilla</td>
      <td class='title string'>Graceland</td>
      <td class='content text'>In 1957, when he was just 22, Elvis shelled out $102,500 for Graceland, the Memphis mansion that served as his home base for two decades.</td>
    </tr>
    <tr class='even'>
      <td class='id integer'>3</td>
      <td class='created_at datetime'>2015-08-06 12:04:05 UTC</td>
      <td class='updated_at datetime'>2015-08-06 12:04:05 UTC</td>
      <td class='added_by string'>Elvis Himself</td>
      <td class='title string'>Col. Tom Barker</td>
      <td class='content text'>Elvis’s future manager immigrated illegally to America as a young man, where he reinvented himself as Tom Parker and claimed to be from West Virginia. He worked as a pitchman for traveling carnivals, followed by stints as dog catcher and pet cemetery founder, among other occupations, then managed the careers of several country music singers.</td>
    </tr>
  </tbody>
</table>

Interesting stuff above:

  • It auto-generates odd/even classes on the rows in case you want to use them for styling
  • It also includes the parameter name and datatype on each column in case that's useful for styling (e.g., you might want to make integers align right).
  • Tables have the tablematic class by default.

Customizing output

The defaults are probably not exactly what you need, so you can tweak things as needed by supplying options in an hash as the second parameter to table_for. Here are some of the supported options:

table_class:

A string or array of strings to use as class name(s) on the table. This is handy if you're using a CSS framework like bootstrap:

<%= table_for(@posts, table_class: 'table table-condensed') %>

yields

<table class="tablematic table table-condensed">
...

attributes:

Limits the output to only those attributes included in the array. E.g.,

<%= table_for(@posts, attributes: [:title, :content]) %>

You can also specify the column header names this way by making the array elements into hashes where the key is the attribute name and the value is the title:

<%= table_for(@posts, attributes: [{title: 'A cool title'}, {content: 'Awesome content'}]) %>

Code Blocks for additional per-row output

Let's say you want to include links to Edit or Delete actions on each row along with the table values. Anything that is supplied in a block to the table_for method will be appended to the end of each row that is generated. For example,

<% table_for(@posts) do |post| %>
  <td><%= link_to "Edit", edit_post_path(post) %></td>
<% end %>

will generate the following:

<table class=' tablematic'>
  <thead>
    <tr>
      <th class='id integer'>Id</th>
      <th class='created_at datetime'>Created at</th>
      <th class='updated_at datetime'>Updated at</th>
      <th class='added_by string'>Added by</th>
      <th class='title string'>Title</th>
      <th class='content text'>Content</th>
      <th></th>
    </tr>
  </thead>
  <tbody>
    <tr class='even'>
      <td class='id integer'>1</td>
      <td class='created_at datetime'>2015-08-06 12:04:05 UTC</td>
      <td class='updated_at datetime'>2015-08-06 12:04:05 UTC</td>
      <td class='added_by string'>Lisa Marie</td>
      <td class='title string'>Elvis had a Twin</td>
      <td class='content text'>On January 8, 1935, Elvis Aron (later spelled Aaron) Presley was born at his parents’ two-room house in East Tupelo, Mississippi, about 35 minutes after his identical twin brother, Jesse Garon, who was stillborn.</td>
      <td><a href="/posts/1/edit">Edit</a></td>
    </tr>
...

Global Configuration

Right now there's only one option you can configure globally - I'm working on that. Here's how you do it - in an initializer, plop the following code:

Tablematic.configure do |config|
  config.table_class = 'table table-condensed'    
end

This will make the default CSS classes on every generated table include the table and table-condensed classes, so you don't have to specify it explicitly everywhere you use the helper.

TODO

  • Change string additions to use << instead because string addition is expensive (or better yet use content_tag).
  • Setup TravisCI.
  • An exclude option to easily exclude columns, including at the global level.
  • Integration specs for better testing w/ Rails.
  • A way to specify that generate class names should use hyphens instead of underscores.
  • Configurable class namespaces, some of that stuff is already there just haven't finished it.
  • Make it work w/ regular old arrays of hashes as well as AR.
  • Maybe it'd be cool to have optional footers with totals? Might be wonky w/ pagination.
  • A way to specify column headings when you're including additional stuff in a block.

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add specs for it.
  • Commit.
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.

Copyright

Copyright 2015 Mike Desjardins. See MIT-LICENSE for details.

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