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Tabs on Rails is a simple Rails plugin for creating and managing tabs and navigation menus.

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Tabs on Rails

TabsOnRails is a simple Rails plugin for creating tabs and navigation menus. It provides helpers for generating navigation menus with a flexible interface.

Requirements

  • Rails 3

Please note

  • TabsOnRails 2.x requires Rails 3. Use TabsOnRails 1.3.x with Rails 2.

  • TabsOnRails doesn't work with Rails 2.1 or lower

(“comment”:www.simonecarletti.com/blog/2009/04/tabsonrails/#comment-2901 and “commit”:github.com/weppos/tabs_on_rails/commit/d5ae9f401e3d0acc87251fa8957a8625e90ba4b3).

Installation

“RubyGems”:rubygems.org is the preferred way to install TabsOnRails and the best way if you want install a stable version.

$ gem install tabs_on_rails

Specify the Gem dependency in the “Bundler”:gembundler.com Gemfile.

gem "tabs_on_rails"

Use “Bundler”:gembundler.com and the “:git option”:gembundler.com/v1.0/git.html if you want to grab the latest version from the Git repository.

Usage

In your template use the tabs_tag helper to create your tab.

<%= tabs_tag do |tab| %>
  <%= tab.home      'Homepage', root_path %>
  <%= tab.dashboard 'Dashboard', dashboard_path %>
  <%= tab.account   'Account', account_path %>
<% end %>

The example above produces the following HTML output.

<ul>
  <li><a href="/">Homepage</a></li>
  <li><a href="/dashboard">Dashboard</a></li>
  <li><a href="/account">Account</a></li>
</ul>

The usage is similar to the Rails route file. You create named tabs with the syntax tab.name_of_tab.

The name you use creating a tab is the same you're going to refer to in your controller when you want to mark a tab as the current tab.

class DashboardController < ApplicationController
  set_tab :dashboard
end

Now, if the action belongs to DashboardController, the template will automatically render the following HTML code.

<ul>
  <li><a href="/">Homepage</a></li>
  <li class="custom"><span>Dashboard</span></li>
  <li><a href="/account">Account</a></li>
</ul>

Use the current_tab helper method if you need to access the value of current tab in your controller or template.

class DashboardController < ApplicationController
  set_tab :dashboard
end

# In your view
<p>The name of current tab is <%= current_tab %>.</p>

Customizing a Tab

You can pass a hash of options to customize the style and the behavior of the tab item. Behind the scenes, each time you create a tab, the #tab_for method is invoked.

<%= tabs_tag do |tab| %>
  <%= tab.home      'Homepage', root_path, :style => "padding: 10px" %>
  <%= tab.dashboard 'Dashboard', dashboard_path %>
<% end %>

<ul>
  <li style="padding: 10px"><a href="/">Homepage</a></li>
  <li class="custom"><span>Dashboard</span></li>
  <li><a href="/account">Account</a></li>
</ul>

See TabsOnRails::Tabs::TabsBuilder#tab_for for more details.

Customizing open_tabs and close_tabs

The open_tabs and the close_tabs methods can be customized with the :open_tabs and :close_tabs option.

<%= tabs_tag :open_tabs => { :id => "tabs", :class => "cool" } do |tab| %>
  <%= tab.home      'Homepage', root_path %>
  <%= tab.dashboard 'Dashboard', dashboard_path %>
  <%= tab.account   'Account', account_path %>
<% end %>

<ul id="tabs" class="cool">
  <li><a href="/">Homepage</a></li>
  <li><a href="/dashboard">Dashboard</a></li>
  <li><a href="/account">Account</a></li>
</ul>

Further customizations require a custom Builder (see below).

Restricting set_tab scope

The set_tab method understands all options you are used to pass to a Rails controller filter. In fact, behind the scenes this method uses a before_filter to store the tab in the @tab_stack variable.

Taking advantage of Rails filter options, you can restrict a tab to a selected group of actions in the same controller.

class PostsController < ApplicationController
  set_tab :admin
  set_tab :posts, :only => %w(index show)
end

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  set_tab :admin, :if => :admin_controller?

  def admin_controller?
    self.class.name =~ /^Admin(::|Controller)/
  end
end

Using Namespaces to create Multiple Tabs

Namespaces enable you to create and manage tabs in parallels. The best way to demonstrate namespace usage is with an example.

Let's assume your application provides a first level navigation menu with 3 elements: :home, :dashboard, :projects. The relationship between your tabs and your controllers is 1:1 so you should end up with the following source code.

class HomeController
  set_tab :home
end

class DashboardController
  set_tab :dashboard
end

class ProjectsController
  set_tab :projects

  def first; end
  def second; end
  def third; end
end

The project controller contains 3 actions and you might want to create a second-level navigation menu. This menu should reflect the navigation status of the user in the project page.

Without namespaces, you wouldn't be able to accomplish this task because you already set the current tab value to :projects. You need to create a parallel navigation menu and uniquely identify it with a custom namespace. Let's call it :navigation.

class ProjectsController
  set_tab :projects

  # Create an other tab navigation level
  set_tab :first, :navigation, :only => %w(first)
  set_tab :second, :navigation, :only => %w(second)
  set_tab :third, :navigation, :only => %w(third)

  def first; end
  def second; end
  def third; end
end

Voilà! That's all you need to do. And you can create an unlimited number of namespaces as long as you use an unique name to identify them.

The default namespace is called :default. Passing :default as name is the same as don't using any namespace at all. The following lines are equivalent.

set_tab :projects
set_tab :projects, :default

Rendering Tabs with Namespaces

To switch namespace in your template, just pass the :namespace option to the tabs_tag helper method.

<%= tabs_tag do |tab| %>
  <%= tab.home      'Homepage', root_path %>
  <%= tab.dashboard 'Dashboard', dashboard_path %>
  <%= tab.projects  'Projects', projects_path %>
<% end %>

<%= tabs_tag :namespace => :navigation do |tab| %>
  <%= tab.first   'First', first_project_path %>
  <%= tab.second  'Second', second_project_path %>
  <%= tab.third   'Account', third_project_path %>
<% end %>

Namespace scope

As a bonus feature, the namespace needs to be unique within current request scope, not necessarily across the entire application.

Back to the previous example, you can reuse the same namespace in the other controllers. In this way, you can reuse your templates as well.

class HomeController
  set_tab :home
end

class DashboardController
  set_tab :dashboard

  set_tab :index,  :navigation, :only => %w(index)
  set_tab :common, :navigation, :only => %w(foo bar)

  # ...
end

class ProjectsController
  set_tab :projects

  set_tab :first,  :navigation, :only => %w(first)
  set_tab :second, :navigation, :only => %w(second)
  set_tab :third,  :navigation, :only => %w(third)

  # ...
end

Tab Builders

The Builder is responsible for creating the tabs HTML code. This library is bundled with two Builders:

Tabs::Builder

this is the abstract interface for any custom builder.

Tabs::TabsBuilder

this is the default builder.

Understanding the Builder

Builders act as formatters. A Builder encapsulates all the logic behind the tab creation including the code required to toggle tabs status.

When the tabs_tag helper is called, it creates a new Tabs instance with selected Builder. If you don't provide a custom builder, then Tabs::TabsBuilder is used by default.

Creating a custom Builder

All builders must extend the base Tabs::Builder class and implement at least the tab_for method. Additional overridable methods include:

open_tabs

the method called before the tab set

close_tabs

the method called after the tab set

tab_for

the method called to create a single tab item

The following example creates a custom tab builder called MenuTabBuilder.

class MenuTabBuilder < TabsOnRails::Tabs::Builder
  def tab_for(tab, name, options, item_options = {})
    item_options[:class] = (current_tab?(tab) ? 'active' : '')
    @context.content_tag(:li, item_options) do
      @context.link_to(name, options)
    end
  end
end

Using a custom Builder

In your view, simply pass the builder class to the tabs_tag method.

<%= tabs_tag(:builder => MenuTabBuilder) do |tab| %>
  <%= tab.home        'Homepage', root_path %>
  <%= tab.dashboard,  'Dashboard', dashboard_path %>
  <%= tab.account     'Account', account_path, :style => 'float: right;' %>
<% end %>

This is the final result.

<ul>
  <li class=""><a href="/">Homepage</a></li>
  <li class="active"><a href="/dashboard">Dashboard</a></li>
  <li class="" style="float: right;"><a href="/account">Account</a></li>
</ul>

Author

Resources

License

TabsOnRails is Copyright © 2009-2011 Simone Carletti. This is Free Software distributed under the MIT license.

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