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rails-collab

Collaborative Editing on Rails

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Collab

Real-time collaborative document editing for Ruby on Rails using ActionCable & Prosemirror based on operational transforms.

This gem isn't recommended for production use, as the concurrency method for updating documents will strugle under high load.

Client library: https://github.com/benaubin/prosemirror-collab-plus

How it works

The collab gem exposes an ActionCable channel (CollabDocumentChannel) enabling users to start a real-time editing session. A client may submit one or many steps in a DocumentTransaction to the server, alongside a reference for processing. The gem attempts to apply the transaction to the document in a background job (Collab::DocumentTransactionJob). The job first checks that the operation applies to the current version of the document, and if so, uses a NodeJS child process running ProseMirror and JSDom to apply the transaction. If successful, the document is saved and the transaction is broadcasted to clients.

Requirements

  • ActionCable
  • NodeJS in your Rails environment, with a node executible on the $PATH

Getting started

  1. Expose your ProseMirror schema as a NodeJS package (use the package registry of your choice or a private Git repository) so that it can be accessed either client-side or server-side.
module.exports.plainText = new Schema({
  nodes: {
    text: {},
    doc: { content: "text*" },
  },
});
  1. Inside your Rails app, install the gem and the npm packages necessary for applying document transforms server-side
bundle add collab
yarn add @pmcp/authority prosemirror-model prosemirror-transform [your-schema-package]
  1. Generate the initalizer and migration
rails g collab:install
  1. Configure the gem in config/initializers.rb. Make sure to set schema_package to the name of your schema package.

  2. Run rails db:migrate

  3. Add HasCollaborativeDocument to a model

class BlogPost < ApplicationRecord
  include Collab::HasCollaborativeDocument

  has_collaborative_document :body,
                              schema: "plainText", # this is the name of the export from your schema package
                              blank_document: {"type"=>"doc", "content"=>[{"type"=>"text", "text"=>""}]} # the document used for version 0

end
  1. Add authorization logic to app/channels/collab_document_channel.rb

  2. Install the client library

yarn add prosemirror-collab-plus rails-collab [your-schema-package]
  1. Add the railsCollab plugin to your ProseMirror view:
import { EditorView } from "prosemirror-view";
import { EditorState } from "prosemirror-state";
import { railsCollab } from "rails-collab";
import { plainText } from "[your-schema-package]";

const cable = ActionCable.createConsumer("ws://cable.example.com");

const originalDocument = blogPost.body; // from ERB, <%= raw json_escape(@blog_post.body.to_json) %>

const target = document.getElementById("editor-view");

const view = new EditorView(target, {
  state: EditorState.create({
    doc: plainText.nodeFromJSON(originalDocument.document),
    plugins: [
      railsCollab({
        cable,
        startingVersion: originalDocument.version,
        params: { document_id: originalDocument.id },
      }),
    ],
  }),
});

// later, to unsubscribe & destroy the editor:
// view.destroy();
  1. 🎉 You're done! Start collaborating.

Development

After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake spec to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to rubygems.org.

Contributing

Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at https://github.com/benaubin/collab. This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the code of conduct.

License

The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.

Code of Conduct

Everyone interacting in the Collab project's codebases, issue trackers, chat rooms and mailing lists is expected to follow the code of conduct.

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