A simple backbone.js filtered collection.
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Filtered Collection

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This is a simple filtered collection implemented using Backbone.Collection. The goal here is to create a collection which, given a filter function, will just contain elements of the original which pass the filter. Supports add/remove/reset events of the original to modify the filtered version.

Why not just extend backbone?

The main reason I did not just extend backbone is because by extending it, you shove all behaviors into one model, making it a jack-of-all-trades and potentially conflicting with behaviors of other extentions, not to mention making normal operaitons potentially slower. So the intention is to compose a filter chain pattern using these guys.

Installation to rails

With bundler

gem 'backbone-filtered-collection'

Inside your sprockets file:

//= require backbone-filtered-collection

Installation anywhere else

Download the source, minify as you see fit by your minification strategy.


var YourCollection = Backbone.Collection.extend({model: YourModel});
var YourFilteredCollection = Backbone.FilteredCollection.extend({model: YourModel});

var allItems = new YourCollection(...);

// note the null, backbone collections want the pre-populated model here
// we can't do that since this collection does not accept mutations, it
// only mutates as a proxy for the underlying collection
var filteredItems = new YourFilteredCollection(null, {collection: allItems});

var filteredItems.setFilter(function(item) { return item.get('included') == true;});

And now filteredItems contains only those items that pass the filter. You can still manipulate the original:

allItems.add(..., {at: 5}); // at is supported too...

However, if you invoke {silent: true} on the original model, then you must reset the filter by invoking:

filteredItems.setFilter(); // no args = just re-filter

Same goes for remove and reset.

To clear the filtering completely, pass the value false to setFilter.


  • setFilter(function() {}): Set the given function as the filter. Same api as _.each.
  • setFilter(false): Turn filtering off. This collection will have all elements of the original collection.
  • setFilter(): Re-filter. Don't change the filter function but execute it on all elements. Useful after the original collection was modified via silent: true


The collection will create events much like a regular collection. There are a few to note:

  • add: An object was added to the collection (via filter OR via orig collection)
  • remove: An object was removed from the collection (via filter OR via orig collection)
  • reset: The original collection was reset, filtering happened
  • sort: The collection was sorted. No changes in models represented.
  • change: An object in the collection was changed. The object was already accepted by the filter, and is still.
  • filter-complete: Filtering was completed. If you are not listening to add/remove then just listen to filter-complete and reset your views.

Change Collection

You can change the underlying collection if you really need to by invoking #resetWith(newCollection), only one reset event will be triggered with the new data.


bundle install
rake jasmine

I also included a .rvmrc file incase you have rvm installed.


Please, do not contribute without a spec. Being tested is critically important to this project, as it's a framework level component, and so its failure will be damn hard to detect.

Also, no tab characters, 2 spaces only. Minifiers can handle this stuff for you.