Unobtrusive Javascript and Turbolinks support for shoelace.style

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import yuki24ShoelaceRails from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/@yuki24/shoelace-rails';


Shoelace Rails

The shoelace-rails gem adds useful helper methods for Shoelace.style, the design system.


This document assumes that you use the webpacker gem. You may have to tweak the examples here if you do not use it. However, the principle here should be the same regardless of the JS bundler you use.

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'shoelace-rails', git: "https://github.com/yuki24/shoelace-rails.git"

And then execute:

$ bundle install

Additionally, you need to add the following npm packages:

yarn add @shoelace-style/shoelace @yuki24/shoelace-rails copy-webpack-plugin

Set up CSS

Asset Pipeline

Add the following lines to the app/assets/stylesheets/application.css if you need the sprockets gem:

 *= require "@shoelace-style/shoelace/dist/themes/light.css
 *= require "@shoelace-style/shoelace/dist/themes/dark.css

Webpack & CSS Loader

Add the following lines to the app/packs/entrypoints/application.js if you prefer the webpack and CSS loader:

import "@shoelace-style/shoelace/dist/themes/light.css"
import "@shoelace-style/shoelace/dist/themes/dark.css" // Optional dark mode

Set up Javascript

Add the code below so Shoelace's assets (mostly icons) will be copied to the final build output. This is required for both Turbolinks and Hotwire.

// config/webpack/environment.js
const { environment } = require('@rails/webpacker')
const path = require('path')
const CopyPlugin = require('copy-webpack-plugin')

// Add shoelace icons to webpack's build process
  new CopyPlugin({
    patterns: [
        from: path.resolve(__dirname, '../../node_modules/@shoelace-style/shoelace/dist/assets'),
        to: path.resolve(__dirname, '../../public/packs/js/assets')

module.exports = environment

Turbolinks 5

If you are using the traditional Turbolinks 5, import the startUjs and startTurbolinks functions to activate Shoelace UJS in the app/packs/entrypoints/application.js, or the entrypoint file of your project:

import Turbolinks from "turbolinks"
import { setBasePath } from "@shoelace-style/shoelace"
import { startUjs, startTurbolinks, getDefaultAssetPath } from "@yuki24/shoelace-rails"

// Important! Turboinks.start() needs to be called before calling the startTurbolinks function:


This gem provides form helpers called sl_form_for, sl_form_with and sl_form_tag. When rendering a form, try using one of them just like you normally use form_for:

<%= sl_form_for @user do |form| %>
<% end %>

Once the Shoelace UJS is activated and the form is rendered by sl_form_for (or any equivalent form helper), form submission should automatically be handled and you should be able to start buildgin an app like you normally do on Rails.


If you are using Hotwire, import the startTurbo function in the app/packs/entrypoints/application.js, or the entrypoint file of your project:

import "@hotwired/turbo-rails"
import { setBasePath } from "@shoelace-style/shoelace"
import { startTurbo, getDefaultAssetPath } from "@yuki24/shoelace-rails"


Unlike the Turbolinks support, you have to use the other form helper, called sl_turbo_form_for:

<%= sl_turbo_form_for @user do |form| %>
<% end %>

There are also corresponding sl_turbo_form_with and sl_turbo_form_tag methods in case you need to render a form in different scenarios. You can still use methods like sl_form_for, but the sl-submit event is not automatically handled.

View Helpers

As explained above, this gem provides drop-in replacements to. Here is a short example of how the form helper works:

<%= sl_form_for @user do |form| %>
  <%  # Text input: https://shoelace.style/components/input %>
  <%= form.text_field :name %>
  <%= form.password_field :password, placeholder: "Password Toggle", 'toggle-password': true %>

  <%  # Radio buttons: https://shoelace.style/components/color-picker %>
  <%= form.color_field :color %>

  <%  # Radio buttons: https://shoelace.style/components/radio %>
  <%= form.collection_radio_buttons :status, { id_1: "Option 1", id_2: "Option 2", id_3: "Option 3" }, :first, :last %>

  <%  # Select: https://shoelace.style/components/select %>
  <%= form.collection_select :tag, { id_1: "Option 1", id_2: "Option 2", id_3: "Option 3" }, :first, :last, {}, { placeholder: "Select one" } %>

  <%= form.submit %>
<% end %>

And this code will produce:

<sl-form class="new_user" id="new_user" data-remote="true" action="/" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post">
  <sl-input label="Name" type="text" name="user[name]" id="user_name"></sl-input>
  <sl-input label="Password" type="password" name="user[password]" id="user_password"></sl-input>
  <sl-color-picker value="#ffffff" name="user[color]" id="user_color"></sl-color-picker>

  <sl-radio-group no-fieldset="true">
    <sl-radio value="id_1" name="user[status]" id="user_status_id_1">Option 1</sl-radio>
    <sl-radio value="id_2" name="user[status]" id="user_status_id_2">Option 2</sl-radio>
    <sl-radio value="id_3" name="user[status]" id="user_status_id_3">Option 3</sl-radio>

  <sl-select placeholder="Select one" name="user[tag]" id="user_tag">
    <sl-menu-item value="id_1">Option 1</sl-menu-item>
    <sl-menu-item value="id_2">Option 2</sl-menu-item>
    <sl-menu-item value="id_3">Option 3</sl-menu-item>

  <sl-button submit="true" type="primary" data-disable-with="Create User">Create User</sl-button>

How it works

Shoelace.style is built of top of the Web Components API, which provides a way to your own HTML elements and use them in any framework, or even in a static HTML.

This is a great way to build a design system, but it also comes with a few challenges. One notable challenge is form submissions. Because of how Shoelace is built (for a good reason), the native <form> element does not recognize Shoelace form controls like <sl-input>. The library solves this problem by providing a bridge that connects Shoelace with Turbolinks and Hotwire.

How Turbolinks support works

Simply put, the Rails UJS is just a bunch of custom event handlers. Because of the reasons described above, the normal form submit event is not emitted by the <sl-form> element. Aside from that, the commonly used technique of making a POST/DELETE request with data-confirm="You are you sure?"" only targets the <a> and <button> tags, and it does not work with Shoelace elements like <sl-button>. Here are how these problems are addressed:

  1. Form submission: when a button within the form is clicked, Shoelace emits a sl-submit event with access to the formdata object. The Shoelace UJS captures this event and does the same thing as Rails UJS.
  2. Event listeners for Shoelace elements: the Shoelace UJS adds an event listener that is similar to the original Rails UJS, but specifically targets the <sl-button> element.

Turbolinks is actually mostly compatible with Shoelace. The only notable addition is support for links within a Shadow DOM. This may not necessarily eb an issue specifically with Shoelace, and other implementations that use the Shadow DOM may benefit from this fix.

How Hotwire support works

As explained above, the normal form submit events are not emitted. On the other hand, Hotwire is a complete write of Turbolinks, and the hacks for Turbolinks 5 may not work for Hotwire. Thankfully, Hotwire has received a lot of improvements, and the amount of hacks required to make it work on Rails was very minimal, most notably:

  1. All link transitions work with Turbo Drive with no extra code.
  2. Stimulus.js is fully compatible with synthetic events, which Shoelace also uses to emit its events.

Rails UJS is no longer a dependency and form submission is now also handled by Hotwire Turbo, which leaves us in a quite good place to make Shoelace work with Rails. That means all we have to do is to translate the sl-submit event in to the submit event.

In order to simulate a normal form submission performed by a form, the startTurbo() function defines a custom element called <sl-turbo-form>. This element internally maintains two things: a <sl-form> element rendered in the element's Shadow DOM, and a <form> tag rendered in the light DOM. When the sl-submit event is captured, the element will populate the form element in the light DOM with the formdata provided by the sl_submit event, and emits an synthetic submit event. Once this is fired, everything will be handled by Hotwire Turbo.


  1. Run bundle install
  2. Make a change and add test coverage
  3. Run bundle rails test
  4. Make a commit and push it to GitHub
  5. Send us a pull request


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at https://github.com/yuki24/shoelace-rails. This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the code of conduct.


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

Code of Conduct

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