Opinions allows the storage of opinions in Redis, a fast and atomic structured data store. If one's users hate, love, appreciate, despise or just-don-t-care, one can store that easily via a simple API.
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Store opinions in Redis. Opinions allows the storage of opinions in Redis, a fast and atomic structured data store. If one's users hate, love, appreciate, despise or just-don-t-care, one can store that easily via a simple API.

It is not bound to ActiveRecord, or any other big libraries, any class exposing a public id method can be used. The id method is not required to be numerical.

class CatPicture < ActiveRecord::Base

  include Opinions::Pollable
  opinions :like, :dislike


This simple example shows that in our logical model cat pictures can either be liked, or disliked. The following methods are available to all instances of CatPicture:

  • like_by(...)
  • cancel_like_by(...)
  • like_votes()
  • dialike_by(...)
  • cancel_dislike_by(...)
  • dislike_votes()

On the flip-side, one needs a way to share one's feelings, from the model representing a user, or rater, or similar, one can easily use the opposite:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base

  include Opinions::Opinionated
  opinions :like, :dislike


This module will mix-into the User the following methods:

  • like(...)
  • dislike(...)
  • cancel_like(...)
  • cancel_dislike(...)
  • like_opinions()
  • dislike_opinions()
  • have_like_on(...)
  • have_dislike_on(...)

These methods can be passed instances of any class which has those opinions defined.

It should be absolutely trivial to extend these to any behaviour you need.

Note: It is by design that these methods do not read particularly naturally, you are invited to read the source, and tests of the Pollable, and Opinionated modules and implement them in a way which better reflects the grammar of your application, and desired Opinions. Think of these modules as examples, something to expand upon.


Opinions is inspired by schneems/likeable. A few things concerned me about that project, so I wrote opinions after contributing significant fixes to likeable.

What's different from Likeable?

  • There are no hard-coded assumptions about which opinions you'll be using, that's up to your project needs.

  • There are no callbacks, these are better handled with observers, either in the classical OOP meaning of the word, or your framework's pattern. (In Rails they're the same thing)

  • A very comprehensive test suite, written with MiniTest. Likeable is quite simple, and has about ~35 tests, that might be OK for you, and Gowalla, but I'd feel better with real unit, functional and integration tests.

  • It's not totally bound to Redis. Internally there's a Key/Value store proxy, this uses Redis out of the box, but it should be easy for someone to replace this with MongoDB, Riak, DynamoDB, SQLite, etc.

  • It does not depend on ActiveSupport, likeable depends on keytar, which depends on ActiveSupport for inflection and ActiveSupport::Concern.

  • It does not depend on Keytar, Keytar is a handy tool for building NoSQL keys for objects, however it's a little bit over-featured for this use-case.

  • Likeable stores timestamps as floating point numbers, I'm confused by this. Sub-second resoltion seems unusual here, and isn't easy for a human being to read. Opinions uses the time format: %Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S %z.

  • Likeable doesn't store symetrical relationships, using Likeable it's only possible to have one type of object sharing opinions on any other (Users). Opinions stores the relationship symetrically, so many kinds of objects can store many kinds of opinions.

  • Likeable stores the class name unaltered, this can cause problems with namespaced classes as the class namespace separator in Ruby is ::, this conflicts with the sepatator traditionally used in Redis. Opinions stores the class names processed with an ActiveSupport inspired underscore method which uses the forward slash character to represent a namespace delimiter.

Migrating from Likeable

Unfortunately the key structure is sufficiently different that you'll need to explicitly migrate, there's no shortcut. The key to migrating sucessfully is that the vote(target) and vote_by(object) methods take an optional time parameter in the second position. If this is passed then it will


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'opinions'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install opinions


To get started simply require the gem as above, and add an initializer or hook to your application.

The Gem must be configured with at LEAST this minimum:

Opinions.backend       = Opinions::RedisBackend.new
Opinions.backend.redis = Redis.new(...)

The Redis object here is provided by the redis-rb Gem, and can accept any of the standard port/host/db options, in any of the formats that the gem supports.

One may also choose to use (and is advised to use) Redis::Namespace to keep the large number of keys generated by this application to their own scope.

The backend API is simple, and it should be trivial to swap this for an alternative, if you are interested in using a store other than Redis.

The examples at the top of this docuemnt serve as usage examples. You may also learn something from reading the Integration tests.


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request

Sample Key Structure

Given the following example, the key structure would be:

class Recommendation
  iclude Opinions::Pollable
  opinions :like

class User
  include Opinions::Opinionated
  opinions :like



The resulting Redis structure would be something like this:

  "789" "2012-11-13 00:01:02 +01:00"
  "987" "2011-02-01 00:03:01 +01:00"

  "789" "2014-02-01 17:15:01 +01:00"

  "123" "2012-11-13 00:01:02 +01:00"
  "321" "2014-02-01 17:15:01 +01:00"

  "123" "2011-02-01 00:03:01 +01:00"