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Client and Server side Jade template compiler for Rails

branch: master

Merge pull request #2 from FTBpro/master

update rubyracer version
latest commit d7eedb2ddb
zohararad authored
Octocat-spinner-32 lib bump to version 0.0.8 November 09, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 spec upgrade to jade 0.27.6 November 09, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 vendor upgrade to jade 0.27.6 November 09, 2012
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Octocat-spinner-32 Gemfile upgrade to jade 0.27.6 November 09, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 LICENSE License patched April 05, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 README.md
Octocat-spinner-32 Rakefile Inited January 15, 2012
Octocat-spinner-32 jader.gemspec update rubyracer November 13, 2013
README.md

Jader - Share your Jade templates between client and server

Jade is a very popular templating engine for Node.js. This gem gives you ability to easily use Jade templates for both server and client side in your Rails project.

On the client-side your templates should be used with Rails' JST engine. On the server side, you can render your Jade templates as Rails views (similar to how you'd render ERB or HAML templates).

Writing your templates

Lets assume you have a users controller app/controllers/users_controller.rb which in turn renders a list of users. We'd like to share that view between the client and the server.

Server-Side code

class UsersController < ApplicationController

  def index
    @users = User.all
    respond_to do |format|
      format.html
    end
  end

end

To share our template between client and server, we need to place it under app/assets/javascripts for Sprockets' JST engine.

Lets create a views directory for our shared templates app/assets/javascripts/views and add our template there, following Rails' naming convensions.

The full template path should look like this: app/assets/javascripts/views/users/index.jst.jade

Template code

The most significant differences between using standard server-side Ruby-based engines like ERB or HAML and using Jader are:

  • No access to server-side view helpers (such as url_for)
  • No ruby-style instance variable like @users
  • Template code is Javascript, not Ruby and has to follow Jade's syntax rather than embedded Ruby syntax
  • No partials or includes

Our template code should look like this:

ul.users
  each user in users
    li.user= user.name

Note that rendering this template server-side, will be done inside your application's layout. You can write your views layout file in ERB / HAML and the call to =yield will render your Jade template above.

Sharing template code

Since Rails doesn't expect server-side templates to live under app/assets we need to add our client-side views path to Rails views lookup path.

Assuming we have an initializer app/config/initializers/jader.rb we can add our client-side views directory like this:

Jader.configure do |config|
  # make your client-side views directory discoverable to Rails
  config.views_path = Rails.root.join('app','assets','javascripts','views')
end

Internally, this adds a before_filter to ApplicationController::Base that prepends the provided path to ActionView::Context .

Client-side code

To render the same template from the client, we need to fetch our users list from the server and then call our JST template with that list.

First, lets change our controller to return a JSON formatted list of users when called from the client:

class UsersController < ApplicationController

  def index
    @users = User.all
    respond_to do |format|
      format.html
      format.json {
        render :json => @users.to_jade
      }
    end
  end

end

Note the call to to_jade on the @users collection. This ensures our users are properly serialized for use inside our template. See the Serialization section below for more details.

In our application.js file lets write the following:

//= require jade/runtime
//= require views/users/index

$.getJSON('/users', function(users){
  $('body').html(JST['views/users/index']({users:users}));
});

Serialization

To help Jader access Ruby and Rails variables inside the template, we need to employ some sort of JSON serializing before passing these variables to the template. On the server-side, this happens automagically before the template is rendered.

Internally, Jader will try to call the to_jade method on each instance variable that's passed to the template. Ruby's Hash, Array and Object classes have been extended to support this functionality. Arrays and Hashes will attempt to call the to_jade method on their members when to_jade is invoked on their instances. For other collection-like variables, the to_jade method will only be invoked if they respond to a to_a method. This allows ActiveModel / ActiveRecord instance variables to automatically serialize their members before rendering.

Serializing models

Jader does not assume your Rails models should be serialized by default. Instead, it expects you to enable serializing on desired models explicitly.

To enable this behaviour, consider the following example:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base

  include Jader::Serialize

  jade_serializable :name, :email, :favorites, :merge => false

end

The call to include Jader::Serialize mixes Jader::Serializer capabilities into our model class.

We can then tell the serializer which attributes we'd like to serialize, and how we'd like the serialization to work.

By default, calling jade_serializable with no arguments will serialize all your model attributes. Lets look at two examples:

Consider the following code:

# define our model
class User < ActiveRecord::Base

  include Jader::Serialize

  jade_serializable

end

# access in controller
class UsersController < ApplicationController

  def index
    @users = User.all
    @users.to_jade # => all available user attributes (users table columns) will be serialized
  end

  def active
    @users = User.where('active = 1').select('name, email')
    @users.to_jade # => only name and email attributes are serialized
  end
end

For better control over which attributes are serialized, and when serializing model relationships, we can tell the serializer which attributes should always be serialized, and whether we'd like these attributes to be merged with the default attributes or not.

Consider the following code:

# define our models

class Favorite < ActiveRecord::Base

  include Jader::Serialize

  jade_serializable

  belongs_to :user

end

class User < ActiveRecord::Base

  include Jader::Serialize

  jade_serializable :favorites, :merge => true

  has_many :favorites
end

# access in controller
class UsersController < ApplicationController

  def active
    @users = User.where('active = 1').select('name, email')
    @users.to_jade # => only name, email and favorites attributes are serialized
  end
end

In the above, we defined serialization for the User model to include the :favorites attribute, which is available because of the has_many relationship to the Favorite model. Additionally, we specified that serialization should merge model default attributes with the specified attributes, by setting :merge => true .

This will result in merging self.attributes and self.favorites on any instance of the User model when calling the to_jade method on it.

To only serialize the specified attributes, call jade_serializable with :merge => false .

Invokation format for jade_serializable is:

jade_serializable :attr1, :attr2, :attr3 ...., :merge => true/false

By default, jade_serializable will operate with :merge => true and merge instnace attributes with specified attributes.

Mixins

Jade has built in support for template mixins. Jader allows you to define and share mixins inside your templates.

Following Rails helpers conventions, your Jade mixins can be defined either as application-level mixins or as controller-level mixins.

Assuming we have a users controller, we can add mixins by creating a mixins folder under app/assets/javascripts and adding:

  • app/assets/javascripts/helpers/application_mixins.jade
  • app/assets/javascripts/helpers/users_mixins.jade

Mixins that are defined inside application_mixins.jade will be available in all templates. This is a perfect place for example to add a pagination mixin.

Controller-level mixins are defined inside CONTROLLER_NAME_mixins.jade and are available only inside the relevant controller. Since the client-side has no notion of which controller is currently being rendered, we need to strictly follow Rails naming conventions as follows:

  • Client-side views subdirectories are named after their controller. For example, for UsersController we will have app/assets/javascripts/views/users
  • Client-side Jade mixins files are resolved based on view name. mixins/users_mixins.jade will be available for views inside views/users folder

To enable Jader's mixins capabilities we need to configure Jader and tell it where to look for mixins files:

Jader.configure do |config|
  config.mixins_path = Rails.root.join('app','assets','javascripts','mixins')
end

Notes on performance

On the client-side, Jader will add the mixins code into your Jade JST template. This can potentially increase your client-side file size dramatically. Since application-level mixins are included in each and every template, please be sure to keep them to a bare minimum.

Javascript inclusion

Often we'll have additional Javascript that is included client-side and adds more functionality to our client-side application. Two such examples could be using I18n.js for internationalization, or Date.js for better date handling.

Since our server-side templates cannot access this code, we need to figure out a way to share arbitrary Javascript from our client in the server.

This is where inclusions come in.

We can tell Jader to add arbitrary pieces of raw Javascript to the server-side rendering context before evaluating our template like so:

Jader.configure do |config|
  config.includes << IO.read(Rails.root.join('app','assets','javascripts','includes','util.js'))
end

Jader.configuration.includes is an array that accepts raw Javascript strings that are, in turn, passed to the server-side template evaluation context.

To give a more pragmatic example of using Jader inclusions, lets try using I18n.js on both server and client.

For the sake of this example, we assume gem 'i18n-js' is installed in our application.

Our application.js file will then include:

//= require i18n
//= require i18n/translations

The first require is made available via i18n-js vendorized assets while the second require is a translations file inside our app/assets/javascripts/i18n folder.

To enable I18n support when rendering templates on the server, we configure Jader as follows:

Jader.configure do |config|
  # wait for assets to be ready
  Rails.application.config.after_initialize do
    # inject assets source into Jader's includes array
    config.includes << Rails.application.assets['i18n'].source
    config.includes << Rails.application.assets['i18n/translations'].source
    config.includes << "I18n.defaultLocale = 'en'; I18n.locale = 'en';"
  end
end

Configuration

Its recommended to configure Jader inside a Rails initializer so that configuration is defined at boot time.

Assuming we have an initializer app/config/initializers/jader.rb it should include:

Jader.configure do |config|
  config.mixins_path = Rails.root.join('app','assets','javascripts','mixins')
  # make your client-side views directory discoverable to Rails
  config.views_path = Rails.root.join('app','assets','javascripts','views')
  # Use some javascript from a file that's not available in the asset pipeline
  config.includes << IO.read(Rails.root.join('app','assets','javascripts','includes','util.js'))
  # wait for assets to be ready
  Rails.application.config.after_initialize do
    # include javascripts available only from asset pipeline
    config.includes << Rails.application.assets['util'].source
  end
end

Asset Pipeline

In case your Rails asset pipeline is configured not to load the entire Rails environment when calling rake assets:precompile, you should include Jader's configuration initalizer in your Rakefile.

Simply add require File.expand_path('../config/initializers/jader', __FILE__) before require File.expand_path('../config/application', __FILE__) in your Rakefile, and ensure Jader is properly configured when your assets are precompiled

Kudos

Jader is built upon the wonderful work of Boris Staal and draws heavily from:

Boris Staal's Jade Rubygem was developed as a successor to tilt-jade to improve following:

  • Add debugging capabilities (slightly different build technique)
  • Support exact Jade.JS lib without modifications
  • Do not hold 3 copies of Jade.JS internally
  • Be well-covered with RSpec

Credits

License

Copyright (c) 2012 Zohar Arad zohar@zohararad.com

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

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