Forum: Ruby on Rails Insight on creating an online file editor (create, edit files, browse tree structure)

Announcement (2017-05-07): is now read-only since I unfortunately do not have the time to support and maintain the forum any more. Please see and for other Rails- und Ruby-related community platforms.
Elias O. (Guest)
on 2009-02-09 07:17
(Received via mailing list)
Hello guys,

Can anyone give any ideas on how to start working to do an online file
editor. I want the user to create his/her own directory on the server
an be able to create new text files and edit them online. A file tree
should be available to check the current files in his/her directory.
Can anyone give me any insight, ideas on how to begin working on this?

Thanks a lot,

Sazima (Guest)
on 2009-02-09 15:14
(Received via mailing list)
Well, you could try to 1st implement a "remote shell", that is, you
submit a command (like ls -la), your controller executes it and then
you display the result in the browser. Maybe Capistrano gives you a
start on that.

After that you can work on the user interface (file tree, etc).

You then start working with file editing: you need to read the file
(maybe lock it), display to the user in a text area (possibly with a
WYSIWYG editor like and then submit the contents to
the server and save the file (check if it still exists) and so on...

After everything is working, you might find it appealing glue it all
together with AJAX.

Finally, you need to control permissions, security, etc.

Good luck!

Cheers, Sazima
Elias O. (Guest)
on 2009-02-09 16:53
(Received via mailing list)

Thanks for the tips. So the basic idea is to create the user directory
folders and files with shell commands via the controllers. Do you have
any ideas on how to create a file tree? Maybe a component from YUI or
the google webkit or maybe a plugin (or gem) which can help me to show
a tree structure an be able to click on files an open them in the

Thanks again for your input,

This topic is locked and can not be replied to.