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Create a sorted version of a backbone collection that stays in sync.
branch: master

Merge pull request #4 from gitterHQ/improved-sorting

Support for classic JS Array sort
latest commit d7faf2b25f
Jeremy Morrell authored


Build Status

Create a read-only sorted version of a backbone collection that stays in sync.

var sorted = new SortedCollection(originalCollection);

sorted.setSort(function(model) {
  return model.get('foo');

// or


// or

sorted.setSort(function(model) {
  return calculateSomething(model);


// also chainable

// or pass in the initial sort direction
sorted.setSort('name', 'desc');


new SortedCollection

sorted.setSort(comparator, direction)

comparator accepts:

  • nothing or null, resets the sorting to the same order as the superset
  • a string, sorts by a model key
  • a function that accepts a model and returns a value

direction must be one of: "asc" or "desc". If it's not provided it will default to "asc".

// sort by the 'age' property descending
sorted.setSort('age', 'desc');

// equivalent to this
sorted.setSort(function(model) {
  return model.get('age');
}, 'desc');

// but we can also do arbitrary computation in the closure
sorted.setSort(function(mode) {
  return someComplicatedCalculation(model);

// Characters with accents get sorted to the end of the alphabet, 
// so let's sort based on the unaccented version.
sorted.setSort(function(model) {
  return removeAccents(model.get('name'));

// Pass nothing as an option to remove all sorting


Remove all sorting. Equivalent to calling sorted.setSort()



Reverse the sort. The API is chainable, so this can be called directly after setSort if you want the sort to be descending.

If there is no current sort function then this does nothing.

// Sort by age descending


Remove all ties to the superset and stop updating. Will now be garbage collected when it falls out of scope.


add, remove, change, reset should fire as you expect.

sorted:add - Fired when a sort function is set

sorted:remove - Fired when a sort function is removed

`sorted:destroy' - Fired when the proxy is destroyed


Usage with Browserify

Install with npm, use with Browserify

> npm install backbone-sorted-collection

and in your code

var SortedCollection = require('backbone-sorted-collection');

Usage with Bower

Install with Bower:

bower install backbone-sorted-collection

The component can be used as a Common JS module, an AMD module, or a global.

Usage as browser global

You can include backbone-sorted-collection.js directly in a script tag. Make sure that it is loaded after underscore and backbone. It's exported as SortedCollection on the global object.

<script src="underscore.js"></script>
<script src="backbone.js"></script>
<script src="backbone-sorted-collection.js"></script>


Install Node (comes with npm) and Bower.

From the repo root, install the project's development dependencies:

npm install
bower install

Testing relies on the Karma test-runner. If you'd like to use Karma to automatically watch and re-run the test file during development, it's easiest to globally install Karma and run it from the CLI.

npm install -g karma
karma start

To run the tests in Firefox, just once, as CI would:

npm test



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