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Easily synchronizes settings stored in cookies with instance variables of the same name available for use in controllers and views.
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Cookie Tracker Gem Build Status

The cookie_tracker gem allows you to declare a hash of parameters along with default values that you wish to be loaded/stored in the user's cookies during each page load. Each parameter will be loaded into it's own instance variable of the same name for easy access in controllers and views. If the parameter is passed in the params[] hash, the new value will automatically be stored in the correct cookie and replace the old or default value. This makes it easy to track various options that a user can select on a page, such as items per page, search queries, and custom display settings. If a user clicks off to another page on your site, their settings will be remembered when they return. CookieTracker also supports storing the values in the session store if that's what you prefer. You can override the default cookie options by creating an initializer.

Here is a link to the rubydoc documentation if you are interested: Rdoc Documentation


Rails 3 Only: Add the following to your Gemfile and run the bundle command to install:

gem 'cookie_tracker'

Requires Ruby 1.9.2 or later.


You can override the default options for the cookie creation (lifetime and domain) by creating an initializer file in your application's config/initializers/ directory:

# /conf/initializers/cookie_store.rb
# Defaults:
# :cookie_expire_date =
# :custom_domain = nil

CookieTracker.setup do |config|
  config[:cookie_expire_date] = 1.year.from_now
  config[:custom_domain]      = 'localhost'


This gem supplies an instance method available in your controllers named initialize_cookie_tracker

You can place the initialize_cookie_tracker method inside a before_filter method call and pass it a hash containing the instance variables you would like set with the default values like so:

ArticlesController < ApplicationController::Base
  before_filter :define_cookie_tracker

  def index


  def define_cookie_tracker
    initialize_cookie_tracker(:per_page => 10, :search_query => nil, :organize_by => 'author', :filter_by_month => nil)

Now you will have the following instance variables and cookies available in your controller and views:

puts @per_page
puts @search_query
puts cookies[:per_page]
puts cookies[:search_query]
puts cookies[:organize_by]
puts cookies[:filter_by_month]

CookieTracker will watch the params[] hash and update the cookies and instance variables when a parameter matching the cookie name is submitted.

Example Request:
get '/articles?per_page=15&organize_by=date'

Now the instance variables and cookies will be updated in your controller and views:

@per_page == '15'
=> true
@organize_by == 'date'
=> true
cookies[:per_page] == '15'
=> true
cookies[:organize_by] == 'date'
=> true

If you prefer to use the session store instead of cookies, you can use the initialize_session_tracker method. The two methods function close to identically but persist your values in the appropriate locations.

Example of using the session store:

ArticlesController < ApplicationController::Base
  before_filter :define_cookie_tracker

  def index


  def define_cookie_tracker
    initialize_session_tracker(:per_page => 10, :search_query => nil, :organize_by => 'author', :filter_by_month => nil)

You will get the most bang for your buck if you use these instance variables as the values for various configuration options in your views. Any time a user changes the option from a form or drop down menu, the cookie and instance variable will be updated accordingly:

Filter By Month: 
<%= select_tag( 'filter_by_month', options_for_select(["December","November","October"],:selected => @filter_by_month) ) %>
<%= text_field_tag  "search_query", @search_query, :placeholder => 'Search', :class => 'search-box' %>

Now when a user makes a change to one of these form inputs, the change will be automatically stored in their cookies and the new value will be reflected in the appropriate instance variable. Of course, these instance variables are available in your controllers for manipulation as well.


If you have any questions or find any bugs, please post them on the issue tracker. Feel free to fork the project and submit any changes you can think of. The tests are developed using Test::Unit and executed by running the bundle and rake commands.

This gem is created and maintained by Dan Knox under the MIT license.

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