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Contributing to Ransack

Please take a moment to review this document to make contributing easy and effective for everyone involved!

Ransack is an open source project and we encourage contributions.

Please do not use the issue tracker for personal support requests. Stack Overflow is a better place for that where a wider community can help you!

Filing an issue

Good issue reports are extremely helpful! Please only open an issue if a bug is caused by Ransack, is new (has not already been reported), and can be reproduced from the information you provide.


  1. Use the GitHub issue search — check if the issue has already been reported.

  2. Check if the issue has been fixed — try to reproduce it using the master branch in the repository.

  3. Isolate the real problem — make sure the issue is really a bug in Ransack and not in your code or another gem.

  4. Report the issue by providing the link to a self-contained gist like this or this. Please use these code examples as a bug-report template for your Ransack issue!

If you do not provide a self-contained gist and would like your issue to be reviewed, do provide at a minimum:

  • A comprehensive list of steps to reproduce the issue, or even better, a passing/failing test spec.
  • Whether you are using Ransack through another gem like ActiveAdmin, SimpleForm, etc.
  • The versions of Ruby, Rails, Ransack and the database.
  • Any relevant stack traces ("Full trace" preferred).

Issues filed without the above information or that remain open without activity for 14 days will be closed. They can be re-opened if actionable information to reproduce the issue is provided.

Pull requests

We gladly accept pull requests to fix bugs and, in some circumstances, add new features to Ransack. If you'd like to contribute and wonder what would be helpful, simply run a search for "FIXME" and "TODO" on the codebase 😃

If you're new to contributing to open source, welcome! It can seem scary, so here is a [great blog post to help you get started] (, step by step.

Before issuing a pull request, please make sure that all specs are passing, that any new features have test coverage, and that anything that breaks backward compatibility has a very good reason for doing so.

Here's a quick guide:

  1. Fork the repo.

  2. Create a thoughtfully-named branch for your changes (git checkout -b my-new-feature).

  3. Install the development dependencies by running bundle install.

  4. Begin by running the tests. We only take pull requests with passing tests, and it's great to know that you have a clean slate:

     $ bundle exec rake spec

    The test suite runs by default with SQLite3. To run the test suite with PostgreSQL or MySQL, use:

     $ DB=pg bundle exec rake spec (`DB=postgres` & `DB=postgresql` work too)
     $ DB=mysql bundle exec rake spec

    To run only the tests in a particular file: rspec <path/to/filename>

     $ rspec spec/ransack/search_spec.rb

    To run a single test in that file: rspec <path/to/filename> -e "test name"

     $ rspec spec/ransack/search_spec.rb -e "accepts a context option"
  5. Hack away! Please use Ruby features that are compatible down to Ruby 1.9. Since version 1.5, Ransack no longer maintains Ruby 1.8 compatibility.

  6. Add tests for your changes. Only refactoring and documentation changes require no new tests. If you are adding functionality or fixing a bug, we need a test!

  7. Make the tests pass.

  8. Update the Change Log. If you are adding new functionality, document it in the README.

  9. Make sure git knows your name and email address in your ~/.gitconfig file:

     $ git config --global "Your Name"
     $ git config --global ""
  10. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add feature/fix bug/improve docs'). If your pull request only contains documentation changes, please remember to add [skip ci] to the beginning of your commit message so the Travis test suite doesn't 🏃 needlessly.

  11. If necessary, rebase your commits into logical chunks, without errors. To interactively rebase and cherry-pick from, say, the last 10 commits: git rebase -i HEAD~10, then git push -f.

  12. Push the branch up to your fork on GitHub (git push origin my-new-feature) and from GitHub submit a pull request to Ransack's master branch.

At this point you're waiting on us. We like to at least comment on, if not accept, pull requests within three business days (and, typically, one business day). We may suggest some changes or improvements or alternatives.

Some things that will increase the chance that your pull request is accepted:

  • Include tests that fail without your code, and pass with it.
  • Update the README, the change log, the wiki documentation... anything that is affected by your contribution.
  • Use idiomatic Ruby and follow the syntax conventions below.


  • Indent with two spaces, no tabs.
  • 80 characters per line.
  • No trailing whitespace. Blank lines should not have any space.
  • Prefer &&/|| over and/or.
  • MyClass.my_method(my_arg) not my_method( my_arg ) or my_method my_arg.
  • a = b and not a=b.
  • a_method { |block| ... } and not a_method { | block | ... } or a_method{|block| ...}.
  • Prefer simplicity, readability, and maintainability over terseness.
  • Follow the conventions you see used in the code already.

And in case we didn't emphasize it enough: We love tests!