Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Date Pickers in Rails (Internet Explorer and other browsers)

I was using the date_select for entering dates in Rails apps. For most browsers such as Chrome and Firefox, it works perfectly. The user can use a mini pop up calendar to select the date.


However, if you use a date_select and the user is using Internet Explorer, they just end up with a plain input box.
You can use a date_field_tag  which will give the user a less useable date picker that will work in all browsers.

I was going to write some browser sniffing Javascript code to switch the date inputs based on the browser. However, I found a simple, elegant solution called browser. All you need to do is install it in the gemfile and require it in the application controller.

The browser gem allows you to do things like ‘if’ plus a LOT more.

Since the application I am currently developing is behind a firewall with a limited number of machines and browsers, the following works fine in the view (The date picker is in the view to change the date range of the report. )

 <% if then %>
     From Date: <%= date_select :from, :post %>
     To Date:<%= date_select :to,:post %>
 <% else %>
     From Date: <%= date_field_tag ‘from’ %>
     To Date: <%= date_field_tag ‘to’ %>
 <% end %>

With the code above, the limited date_select will show if the user is running IE and the better date_field_tag will show for other browsers.

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