Super Scaffolding with the --sortable option

When issuing a rails generate super_scaffold command, you can pass the --sortable option like this:

# E.g. Pages belong to a Site and are sortable via drag-and-drop:
rails generate super_scaffold Page Site,Team name:text_field path:text_area --sortable

The --sortable option:

  1. Wraps the table's body in a sortable Stimulus controller, providing drag-and-drop re-ordering;
  2. Adds a reorder action to your resource via include SortableActions, triggered automatically on re-order;
  3. Adds a sort_order attribute to your model to store the ordering;
  4. Adds a default_scope which orders by sort_order and auto increments sort_order on create via include Sortable on the model.

Disabling Saving on Re-order

By default, a call to save the new sort_order is triggered automatically on re-order.

To disable auto-saving

Add the data-sortable-save-on-reorder-value="false" param on the sortable root element:

<tbody data-controller="sortable"

To manually fire the save action via a button

Since the button won't be part of the sortable root element's descendants (all its direct descendants are sortable by default), you'll need to wrap both the sortable element and the save button in a new Stimulus controlled ancestor element.

/* sortable-wrapper_controller.js */
import { Controller } from "@hotwired/stimulus"

export default class extends Controller {
  static targets = [ "sortable" ]
  saveSortOrder() {
    if (!this.hasSortableTarget) { return }
    this.sortableTarget.dispatchEvent(new CustomEvent("save-sort-order"))

On the button, add a data-action

<button data-action="sortable-wrapper#saveSortOrder">Save Sort Order</button>

And on the sortable element, catch the save-sort-order event and define it as the sortable target for the sortable-wrapper controller:

<tbody data-controller="sortable"


Under the hood, the sortable Stimulus controller uses the dragula library.

All of the events that dragula defines are re-dispatched as native DOM events. The native DOM event name is prefixed with sortable:

dragula event name DOM event name
drag sortable:drag
dragend sortable:dragend
drop sortable:drop
cancel sortable:cancel
remove sortable:remove
shadow sortable:shadow
over sortable:over
out sortable:out
cloned sortable:cloned

The original event's listener arguments are passed to the native DOM event as a simple numbered Array under event.detail.args. See dragula's list of events for the listener arguments.

Example: Asking for Confirmation on the drop Event

Let's say we'd like to ask the user to confirm before saving the new sort order:

Are you sure you want to place DROPPED ITEM before SIBLING ITEM?

/* confirm-reorder_controller.js */
import { Controller } from "@hotwired/stimulus"

export default class extends Controller {
  static targets = [ "sortable" ]
  requestConfirmation(event) {
    const [el, target, source, sibling] = event.detail?.args
    // sibling will be undefined if dropped in last position, taking a shortcut here
    const areYouSure = `Are you sure you want to place ${} before ${}?`
    // let's suppose each <tr> in sortable has a data-name attribute
    if (confirm(areYouSure)) {
      this.sortableTarget.dispatchEvent(new CustomEvent('save-sort-order'))
    } else {
  prepareForRevertOnCancel(event) {
    // we're assuming we can swap out the HTML safely
    this.originalSortableHTML = this.sortableTarget.innerHTML
  revertToOriginalOrder() {
    if (this.originalSortableHTML === undefined) { return }
    this.sortableTarget.innerHTML = this.originalSortableHTML
    this.originalSortableHTML = undefined

And on the sortable element, catch the sortable:drop, sortable:drag (for catching when dragging starts) and save-sort-order events. Also define it as the sortable target for the confirm-reorder controller:

<tbody data-controller="sortable"
  data-action="sortable:drop->confirm-reorder#requestConfirmation sortable:drag->confirm-reorder#prepareForRevertOnCancel save-sort-order->sortable#saveSortOrder"