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What is hydra-editor?

A basic metadata editor for Rails applications based on hydra-head.

Product Owner & Maintenance

hydra-editor is a Core Component of the Samvera community. The documentation for what this means can be found here.

Product Owner



The Samvera community is here to help. Please see our support guide.

Getting Started

To use add to your gemfile:

gem 'hydra-editor'

Then run:

bundle install

Next generate the bootstrap form layouts:

rails generate simple_form:install --bootstrap

And to config/routes.rb add:

  mount HydraEditor::Engine => '/'

(Note: You do not have to mount the engine if you do not intend to use the engine's default routes.)

In your initialization set HydraEditor.models

# config/initializers/hydra_editor.rb
HydraEditor.models = ["RecordedAudio", "PdfModel"]

You can customize the names of your fields/models by adding to your translation file:

# config/locales/en.yml
        PdfModel: "PDF"
        RecordedAudio: "audio"

        dateCreated: "Date Created"
        sub_location: "Holding Sub-location"

Create a form object for each of your models.

# app/forms/recorded_audio_form.rb
class RecordedAudioForm
  include HydraEditor::Form
  self.model_class = RecordedAudio
  self.terms = [] # Terms to be edited
  self.required_fields = [] # Required fields

Add the javascript by adding this line to your app/assets/javascript/application.js:

//= require hydra-editor/hydra-editor

Add the stylesheets by adding this line to your app/assets/stylesheets/application.css:

 *= require hydra-editor/hydra-editor

(Note: The Javascript includes require Blacklight and must be put after that.)

Updating to 4.0.0

  • SimpleForm is supported from release 3.2.0 onwards
  • #to_model now returns self (previously it was the value of @model): ruby class MyForm include HydraEditor::Form self.model_class = MyModel self.terms = [:title, :creator] # [...] end # [...] some_work = MyModel.new(title: ['Black holes: The Reith Lectures.'], creator: 'S.W. Hawking') some_form = MyForm.new(some_work) # [...] some_form.to_model # => #<MyForm:0x00007fd5b2fd1468 @attributes={"id"=>nil, "title"=>["Black holes: The Reith Lectures."], "creator"=>"S.W. Hawking"}, @model=#<MyModel id: nil, title: ["Black holes: The Reith Lectures."], creator: "S.W. Hawking">>
  • When a form field for a single value is empty, it now returns a nil value (as opposed to an empty String):

    class MyForm
      include HydraEditor::Form
      self.model_class = MyModel
      self.terms = [:title, :creator]
      # [...]
    # [...]
    values = MyForm.model_attributes(
      title: ['On the distribution of values of angles determined by coplanar points.'],
      creator: ''
    # => nil

Other customizations

By default hydra-editor provides a RecordsController with :new, :create, :edit, and :update actions implemented in the included RecordsControllerBehavior module, and a RecordsHelper module with methods implemented in RecordsHelperBehavior. If you are mounting the engine and using its routes, you can override the controller behaviors by creating your own RecordsController:

class RecordsController < ApplicationController
  include RecordsControllerBehavior

  # You custom code

If you are not mounting the engine or using its default routes, you can include RecordsControllerBehavior in your own controller and add the appropriate routes to your app's config/routes.rb.


  1. bundle install
  2. Increase the version number in lib/hydra_editor/version.rb
  3. Increase the same version number in .github_changelog_generator
  4. Update CHANGELOG.md by running this command:
  github_changelog_generator --user samvera --project hydra-editor --token YOUR_GITHUB_TOKEN_HERE
  1. Commit these changes to the main branch

  2. Run rake release


This software has been developed by and is brought to you by the Samvera community. Learn more at the Samvera website.

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