Brings Rails named routes to javascript
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aleksejleonov and bogdan Avoid rewrite js file if content wasn't changed. (#238)
Generating `routes.js` file using rake task rewrites it completely each time. So, asset pipeline or webpacker would recompile assets in case when content wasn't changed (because mtime of `routes.js` was changed).

This PR just skip write to output file, if file already exist and have same content. This way mtime became unchanged and asset pipeline or webpacker properly skip assets recompile.

Mostly same as fnando/i18n-js#473 that solved same problem for `i18n-js` gem.
Latest commit c380f63 Jul 2, 2018


Build Status FOSSA Status

Generates javascript file that defines all Rails named routes as javascript helpers


Your Rails Gemfile:

gem "js-routes"

Basic Setup

Require js routes file in application.js or other bundle

//= require js-routes

Also in order to flush asset pipeline cache sometimes you might need to run:

rake tmp:cache:clear

This cache is not flushed on server restart in development environment.

Important: If routes.js file is not updated after some configuration change you need to run this rake task again.

Advanced Setup

If you need to customize routes file create initializer, like config/initializers/jsroutes.rb:

JsRoutes.setup do |config|
  config.option = value

Or make a more dynamic configuration in JavaScript, but only specific options support the possibility of such configuration(see the list below):

  option: value
Routes.config(); // current config

Available options:

  • default_url_options - default parameters used when generating URLs

    • Option is configurable at JS level with Routes.configure()
    • Example: {:format => "json", :trailing_slash => true, :protocol => "https", :subdomain => "api", :host => "", :port => 3000}
    • Default: {}
  • exclude - Array of regexps to exclude from js routes.

    • Default: []
    • The regexp applies only to the name before the _path suffix, eg: you want to match exactly settings_path, the regexp should be /^settings$/
  • include - Array of regexps to include in js routes.

    • Default: []
    • The regexp applies only to the name before the _path suffix, eg: you want to match exactly settings_path, the regexp should be /^settings$/
  • namespace - global object used to access routes.

    • Supports nested namespace like MyProject.routes
    • Default: Routes
  • prefix - String representing a url path to prepend to all paths.

    • Option is configurable at JS level with Routes.configure()
    • Example: This will cause route helpers to generate full path only.
    • Default: Rails.application.config.relative_url_root
  • camel_case (version >= 0.8.8) - Generate camel case route names.

    • Default: false
  • url_links (version >= 0.8.9) - Generate *_url helpers (in addition to the default *_path helpers).

    • Example: true
    • Default: false
    • Note: generated URLs will first use the protocol, host, and port options specified in the route definition. Otherwise, the URL will be based on the option specified in the default_url_options config. If no default option has been set, then the URL will fallback to the current URL based on window.location.
  • compact (version > 0.9.9) - Remove _path suffix in path routes(*_url routes stay untouched if they were enabled)

    • Default: false
    • Sample route call when option is set to true: Routes.users() => /users
  • serializer (version >= 1.1.0) - Puts a JS function here that serializes a Javascript Hash object into URL paramters: {a: 1, b: 2} => "a=1&b=2".

    • Default: nil. Uses built-in serializer
    • Option is configurable at JS level with Routes.configure()
    • Example: jQuery.param - use jQuery's serializer algorithm. You can attach serialize function from your favorite AJAX framework.
    • Example: MyApp.custom_serialize - use completely custom serializer of your application.
  • special_options_key - a special key that helps js-routes to destinguish serialized model from options hash

    • This option is required because JS doesn't provide a difference between an object and a hash
    • Option is configurable at JS level with Routes.configure()
    • Default: _options
  • application - a key to specify which rails engine you want to generate routes too.

    • This option allows to only generate routes for a specific rails engine, that is mounted into routes instead of all Rails app routes
    • Default: Rails.application

Very Advanced Setup

In case you need multiple route files for different parts of your application, you have to create the files manually. If your application has an admin and an application namespace for example:

# app/assets/javascripts/admin/routes.js.erb
<%= JsRoutes.generate(namespace: "AdminRoutes", include: /admin/) %>

# app/assets/javascripts/
#= require admin/routes
# app/assets/javascripts/application/routes.js.erb
<%= JsRoutes.generate(namespace: "AppRoutes", exclude: /admin/) %>

# app/assets/javascripts/
#= require application/routes

In order to generate the routes JS code to a string:

routes_js = JsRoutes.generate(options)

If you want to generate the routes files outside of the asset pipeline, you can use JsRoutes.generate!:

path = "app/assets/javascripts"
JsRoutes.generate!("#{path}/app_routes.js", :namespace => "AppRoutes", :exclude => [/^admin_/, /^api_/])
JsRoutes.generate!("#{path}/adm_routes.js", :namespace => "AdmRoutes", :include => /^admin_/)
JsRoutes.generate!("#{path}/api_routes.js", :namespace => "ApiRoutes", :include => /^api_/, :default_url_options => {:format => "json"})

Rails relative URL root

If you've installed your application in a sub-path or sub-URI of your server instead of at the root, you need to set the RAILS_RELATIVE_URL_ROOT environment variable to the correct path prefix for your application when you precompile assets. Eg., if your application's base URL is "", the command to precompile assets would be:

RAILS_RELATIVE_URL_ROOT=/Application1 RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec rake assets:precompile

The environment variable is only needed for precompilation of assets, at any other time (eg. when assets are compiled on-the-fly as in the development environment) Rails will set the relative URL root correctly on it's own.


Configuration above will create a nice javascript file with Routes object that has all the rails routes available:

Routes.users_path() // => "/users"
Routes.user_path(1) // => "/users/1"
Routes.user_path(1, {format: 'json'}) // => "/users/1.json"
Routes.user_path(1, {anchor: 'profile'}) // => "/users/1#profile"
Routes.new_user_project_path(1, {format: 'json'}) // => "/users/1/projects/new.json"
Routes.user_project_path(1,2, {q: 'hello', custom: true}) // => "/users/1/projects/2?q=hello&custom=true"
Routes.user_project_path(1,2, {hello: ['world', 'mars']}) // => "/users/1/projects/2?hello%5B%5D=world&hello%5B%5D=mars"

Using serialized object as route function arguments:

var google = {id: 1, name: "Google"};
Routes.company_path(google) // => "/companies/1"
var google = {id: 1, name: "Google", to_param: "google"};
Routes.company_path(google) // => "/companies/google"

In order to make routes helpers available globally:

jQuery.extend(window, Routes)

Get spec of routes and required params

Possible to get spec of route by function toString:

Routes.users_path.toString() // => "/users(.:format)"
Routes.user_path.toString() // => "/users/:id(.:format)"

This function allow to get the same spec for route, if you will get string representation of the route function:

'' + Routes.users_path // => "/users(.:format)", a string representation of the object
'' + Routes.user_path // => "/users/:id(.:format)"

Route function also contain inside attribute required_params required param names as array:

Routes.users_path.required_params // => []
Routes.user_path.required_params // => ['id']

Rails Compatibilities

JsRoutes ties to be as close as possible to rails behaviour in all aspects of routing API. Please make and issue in case of any incomtibilities found outside of described below.

Object and Hash distinction issue

Sometimes the destinction between JS Hash and Object can not be found by js-routes. In this case you would need to pass a special key to help:

Routes.company_project_path({company_id: 1, id: 2}) // => Not Enough parameters
Routes.company_project_path({company_id: 1, id: 2, _options: true}) // => "/companies/1/projects/2"

What about security?

js-routes itself do not have security holes. It makes URLs without access protection more reachable by potential attacker. In order to prevent this use :exclude option for sensitive urls like /admin_/


When using Spork and Spork.trap_method(Rails::Application::RoutesReloader, :reload!) you should also do:

Spork.trap_method(JsRoutes, :generate!)

JS-Routes and heroku

Heroku environment has a specific problems with setup. It is impossible to use asset pipeline in this environment. You should use "Very Advanced Setup" schema in this case.

For example create routes.js.erb in assets folder with needed content:

<%= JsRoutes.generate(options) %>

This should just work.

Advantages over alternatives

There are some alternatives available. Most of them has only basic feature and don't reach the level of quality I accept. Advantages of this one are:

  • Rails 3-5 support
  • Rich options set
  • Full rails compatibility
  • Support Rails #to_param convention for seo optimized paths
  • Well tested

Thanks to Contributors

Have fun


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