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[DEPRECATED] Easy AJAX file uploading in Rails

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Deprecated as of October 7, 2016

Given other both paid and free uploading tools available, JackUp has been deprecated.


Easy AJAX file uploading in Rails.


Modify your

gem 'jack_up'

and run

bundle install
from your shell.

Modify your

//= require jquery
//= require underscore
//= require jack_up
//= require_tree .


Rails 4.0+, CoffeeScript, and both jQuery and Underscore.js included in your



Create a JackUp.Processor, binding to various events emitted.

$ -> # when the document is ready
  # create a new processor with the endpoint to where your assets are uploaded
  jackUp = new JackUp.Processor(path: '/assets')

called if upload is an image; returns an image jQuery object with src attribute assigned

jackUp.on 'upload:imageRenderReady', (e, options) -> # assigns a data-attribute with the file guid for later referencing # set the border color to red, denoting that the image is still being uploaded options.image.attr("data-id", options.file.guid).css(border: "5px solid red") $('.file-drop').append(options.image)

upload has been sent to server; server will handle processing

jackUp.on "upload:sentToServer", (e, options) -> # change the border color to yellow to signify successful upload (server is still processing) $("img[data-id='#{options.file.guid}']").css borderColor: 'yellow'

when server responds successfully

jackUp.on "upload:success", (e, options) -> # server has completed processing the image and has returned a response $("img[data-id='#{options.file.guid}']").css(borderColor: "green")

when server returns a non-200 response

jackUp.on "upload:failure", (e, options) -> # alert the file name alert("'#{}' upload failed; please retry") # remove the image from the dom since the upload failed $("img[data-id='#{options.file.guid}']").remove()

Once the processor is set up, wire up drag-and-drop support:


if you do not want the browser to redirect to the file when droped anywhere else on the page

$(document).bind 'drop dragover', (e) -> e.preventDefault()

If you just want to bind to a standard


You can use both at the same time, referencing the same

, in order to provide both options to your users.

Example Rails Setup

For instant file uploading:

# Gemfile
gem 'rails'
gem 'paperclip'
gem 'rack-raw-upload'

Using the

gem allows for accessing the file posted to the controller via
; this makes it incredibly easy to handle file uploads.
# app/models/asset.rb
class Asset < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_attached_file :photo


class AssetsController < ApplicationController def create @asset = asset_params[:file])

  render json: @asset
  head :bad_request



def asset_params params.permit(:file) end end

This view code could be placed anywhere for immediate uploading:

  %span{ 'data-placeholder' => 'Drop files here' } Drop files here

%input.standard-attachment{ name: 'standard_attachment', accept: 'image/*', type: :file, multiple: :multiple }

Anything with a data-placeholder attribute will be hidden when an file is successfully dropped.

If attaching assets to a different model, additionally use:

# app/models/post.rb
class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_many :assets, dependent: :destroy

accepts_nested_attributes_for :assets end


class PostsController < ApplicationController def new @post = end

def create @post = respond_with @post end


def post_params params.require(:post).permit(:asset_ids, :assets_attributes) end end

To wire up the posts view:

# app/views/posts/new.html.haml
= form_for @post, html: { multipart: true } do |form|
  = form.text_field :title, { placeholder: 'Title' }

.file-drop %span{ 'data-placeholder' => 'Drop files here' } Drop files here

%input.standard-attachment{ name: 'standard_attachment', accept: "image/*", type: :file, multiple: :multiple }

= form.submit 'Create Post'

# app/assets/javascripts/

truncated from above to demonstrate additional code to associate uploads

with posts

jackUp.on "upload:success", (e, options) -> $("img[data-id='#{options.file.guid}']").css(borderColor: "green")

read the response from the server

asset = JSON.parse(options.responseText) assetId =

create a hidden input containing the asset id of the uploaded file

assetIdsElement = $("").val(assetId)

append it to the form so saving the form associates the created post

with the uploaded assets



JackUp is copyright 2012-2013 Josh Steiner, Josh Clayton, and thoughtbot, inc., and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the LICENSE file.

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