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Browse, subscribe, view and revert changes to records when using Ruby on Rails 3 and the `paper_trail` gem.
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Browse, subscribe, view and revert changes to records when using Ruby on Rails 3 and the paper_trail gem.

This software has been in use for a year at and It works well. It has reasonable tests. However, it could definitely use more work.


If you have a Ruby on Rails 3 or 4 application where you're using the paper_trail gem to track changes to your records, you can make use of this like:

Add the following line to your Gemfile:

gem 'paper_trail_manager'

PaperTrailManager will use your existing paging library (will_paginate or Kaminari). If you don't currently use one in your app, add one of the following lines to your Gemfile:

gem 'kaminari'
gem 'will_paginate'

Install the libary:

bundle install

Add the following line to your config/routes.rb:

resources :changes, :controller => 'paper_trail_manager/changes'

Restart the server and go to the /changes URI to browse, subscribe, view and revert your changes. The top-level URL will look something like this:



Several aspects of PaperTrailManager may be optionally configured by creating an initializer in your application (e.g. config/initializers/paper_trail_manager.rb).

To specify when reverts are allowed:

PaperTrailManager.allow_revert_when do |controller, version|
  controller.current_user and controller.current_user.admin?

To specify how to look up users/memebers/etc specified in Paper Trail's 'whodunnit' column:

PaperTrailManager.whodunnit_class = User
PaperTrailManager.whodunnit_name_method = :nicename   # defaults to :name

To specify a method to call to identify an item on an index page:

PaperTrailManager.item_name_method = :nicename

And for linking (or not) to the user with a custom path helper:

PaperTrailManager.user_path_method = :admin_path # defaults to :user_path
PaperTrailManager.user_path_method = nil # no "show user" page in app

When including PaperTrailManager within another Rails engine, you may need to override PaperTrailManager::ChangesController's parent class to reference the engine's ApplicationController configure it to use your engine's url helpers:

PaperTrailManager.base_controller = "MyEngine::ApplicationController"
PaperTrailManager.route_helpers = MyEngine::Engine.routes.url_helpers

You can also specify the layout:

PaperTrailManager.layout = 'my_engine/application'



  • Clone the repository
  • Go into the directory
  • Run bundle to install the development dependencies

Running tests:

  • Run appraisal rake to run the tests against all supported gem combinations. Note that the first time tests are run, gems will need to be downloaded for each individual version of Rails this app is tested against, which may take a while.

Adding support for new Rails versions:

  • This repo uses the Appraisal gem, to add a new rails version modify the Appraisals file
    • Add both a 'will_paginate' and a 'kaminari' version like so:
    appraise "rails-5.0-will-paginate" do
      gem "rails", "5.0.0"
      gem "will_paginate", "~> 3.0"
    appraise "rails-5.0-will-kaminari" do
      gem "rails", "5.0.0"
      gem "kaminari", "~> 0.16"
  • Run appraisal generate
  • Run appraisal install
  • Fix whatever breaks.
  • Please contribute your fixes with a Github pull request.


This program is provided under an MIT open source license, read the LICENSE.txt file for details.

To Note:

This project was originally devloped by Igal Koshevoy. Unfortunately @igal passed away on April 9th, 2013 and I took over the project afterwords.

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