Formtastic: Forms Made Crazy Easy for Rails Developers
Formtastic is a Rails plugin by Justin French that aims to take the headaches out of building forms in Rails views. To build it, Justin wrote down how he'd like a form creation DSL to look and then worked backwards to building the code necessary to implement that DSL. The result is a very obvious and straightforward form creation DSL.
Formtastic doesn't just make it easy to whip up basic forms, though. It has some significant advantages over similar plugins:
- It's Rails 2.3 ready
- It's under active development (the last update was yesterday)
- It supports internationalization
- It has full spec coverage
- It can handle belongs_to, has_many, and has_and_belongs_to_many associations out of the box, rendering multi-selects and radio inputs where necessary!
- It doesn't screw around with the existing Rails form helpers
Here's a large form example straight from Formtastic's documentation (which is pretty thorough, you'll be glad to know):
<% semantic_form_for @article do |form| %> <% form.inputs :name => "Basic" do %> <%= form.input :title %> <%= form.input :body %> <%= form.input :section %> <%= form.input :publication_state, :as => :radio %> <%= form.input :category %> <%= form.input :allow_comments, :label => "Allow commenting on this article" %> <% end %> <% form.inputs :name => "Advanced" do %> <%= form.input :keywords, :required => false, :hint => "Example: ruby, rails, forms" %> <%= form.input :extract, :required => false %> <%= form.input :description, :required => false %> <%= form.input :url_title, :required => false %> <% end %> <% form.inputs :name => "Author", :for => :author do |author_form| %> <%= author_form.input :first_name %> <%= author_form.input :last_name %> <% end %> <% form.buttons do %> <%= form.commit_button %> <% end %> <% end %>
The result is a clean bundle of HTML. Groovy, right? So get reading the documentation and give it a try. It's an awesome plugin.
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