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Positionless model sorting for Rails

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Octocat-spinner-32 lib
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Octocat-spinner-32 .gitignore
Octocat-spinner-32 .rspec
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Octocat-spinner-32 Rakefile
Octocat-spinner-32 resort.gemspec


Resort provides sorting capabilities to your Rails 3 models.


$ gem install resort

Or in your Gemfile:

gem 'resort'


Most other sorting plugins work with an absolute position attribute that sets the weight of a given element within a tree. This field has no semantic sense, since "84" by itself gives you absolutely no information about an element's position or its relations with other elements of the tree.

Resort is implemented like a linked list, rather than relying on absolute position values. This way, every model references a next element, which seems a bit more sensible :)


First, run the migration for the model you want to Resort:

$ rails generate resort:migration product
$ rake db:migrate

Then in your Product model:

class Product < ActiveRecord::Base

NOTE: By default, Resort will treat all products as a single big tree. If you wanted to limit the tree scope, i.e. treating every ProductLine as a separate tree of sortable products, you must override the siblings method:

class Product < ActiveRecord::Base

  def siblings
    # Tree contains only products from my own product line


Multiple users modifying the same list at the same time could be a problem, so it's always a good practice to wrap the changes in a transaction:

Product.transaction do


Every time a product is created, it will be appended after the last element.

Moreover, now a product responds to the following methods:

  • first? — Returns true if the element is the first of the tree.
  • append_to(other_element) — Appends the element after another element.

And the class Product has a new scope named ordered that returns the products in order.

Under the hood

Run the test suite by typing:

rake spec

You can also build the documentation with the following command:

rake docs

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)
  • Send us a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.


Copyright (c) 2011 Codegram. See LICENSE for details.

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