Reputation system Rails engine.
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Merit adds reputation behavior to Rails apps in the form of Badges, Points, and Rankings.

Build Status Code Climate

Table of Contents


  1. Add gem 'merit' to your Gemfile
  2. Run rails g merit:install
  3. Run rails g merit MODEL_NAME (e.g. user)
  4. Run rake db:migrate
  5. Define badges in config/initializers/merit.rb
  6. Configure reputation rules for your application in app/models/merit/*


Creating Badges

Create badges in config/initializers/merit.rb

Merit::Badge.create! takes a hash describing the badge:

  • :id integer (reqired)
  • :name this is how you reference the badge (required)
  • :level (optional)
  • :description (optional)
  • :custom_fields hash of anything else you want associated with the badge (optional)


Merit::Badge.create! ({
  id: 1,
  name: "Yearling",
  description: "Active member for a year",
  custom_fields: { difficulty: :silver }

Defining Rules

Badges can be automatically given to any resource in your application based on rules and conditions you create. Badges can also have levels, and be permanent or temporary (A temporary badge is revoked when the conditions of the badge are no longer met).

Badge rules / conditions are defined in app/models/merit/badge_rules.rb initialize block by calling grant_on with the following parameters:

  • 'controller#action' a string similar to Rails routes
  • :badge corresponds to the :name of the badge
  • :level corresponds to the :level of the badge
  • :to the object's field to give the badge to
    • If you are putting badges on the related user then this field is probably :user.
    • Needs a variable named @model in the associated controller action, like @post for posts_controller.rb or @comment for comments_controller.rb. Implementation note: Merit finds the object with following snippet: instance_variable_get(:"@#{controller_name.singularize}").
  • :model_name define the controller's name if it's different from the model's (e.g. RegistrationsController for the User model).
  • :multiple whether or not the badge may be granted multiple times. false by default.
  • :temporary whether or not the badge should be revoked if the condition no longer holds. false -badges are kept for ever- by default.
  • &block can be one of the following:
    • empty / not included: always grant the badge
    • a block which evaluates to boolean. It recieves the target object as parameter (e.g. @post if you're working with a PostsController action).
    • a block with a hash composed of methods to run on the target object and expected method return values


# app/models/merit/badge_rules.rb
grant_on 'comments#vote', badge: 'relevant-commenter', to: :user do |comment|
  comment.votes.count == 5

grant_on ['users#create', 'users#update'], badge: 'autobiographer', temporary: true do |user| &&

Other Actions

# Check granted badges
current_user.badges # Returns an array of badges

# Grant or remove manually
# List 10 badge grants in the last month

# List 20 badge grants in the last week
Badge.last_granted(since_date: 1.week.ago, limit: 20)

# Get related entries of a given badge

Displaying Badges

Meritable models have a badges method which returns an array of associated badges:

<% current_user.badges.each do |badge| %>
  <li><%= %></li>
<% end %>


Defining Rules

Points are given to "meritable" resources on actions-triggered, either to the action user or to the method(s) defined in the :to option. Define rules on app/models/merit/point_rules.rb:

score accepts:

  • score
    • Integer
    • Proc, or any object that accepts call which takes one argument, where the target_object is passed in and the return value is used as the score.
  • :on action as string or array of strings (similar to Rails routes)
  • :to method(s) to send to the target_object (who should be scored?)
  • :model_name (optional) to specify the model name if it cannot be guessed from the controller. (e.g. model_name: 'User' for RegistrationsController, or model_name: 'Comment' for Api::CommentsController)
  • &block
    • empty (always scores)
    • a block which evaluates to boolean (recieves target object as parameter)


# app/models/merit/point_rules.rb
score 10, to: :post_creator, on: 'comments#create' do |comment|

score 20, on: [

score 15, on: 'reviews#create', to: [:reviewer, :reviewed]

proc = lambda { |photo| PhotoPointsCalculator.calculate_score_for(photo) }
score proc, on: 'photos#create'

Other Actions

# Score manually
current_user.add_points(20, 'Optional log message')
# Query awarded points since a given date
score_points = current_user.sash.scores.first.score_points
score_points.where("created_at > '#{1.month.ago}'").sum(:num_points)

# List top 10 scored users in the last month

# List top 25 scored lists in the last week
  table_name: :lists,
  since_date: 1.week.ago,
  limit: 25

Displaying Points

Meritable models have a points method which returns an integer:

<%= current_user.points %>


A common ranking use case is 5 stars. They are not given at specified actions like badges, a cron job should be defined to test if ranks are to be granted.

Defining Rules

Define rules on app/models/merit/rank_rules.rb:

set_rank accepts:

  • :level ranking level (greater is better, Lexicographical order)
  • :to model or scope to check if new rankings apply
  • :level_name attribute name (default is empty and results in 'level' attribute, if set it's appended like 'level_#{level_name}')

Check for rules on a rake task executed in background like:

task cron: :environment do


set_rank level: 2, to: do |committer|
  committer.branches > 1 && committer.followers >= 10

set_rank level: 3, to: do |committer|
  committer.branches > 2 && committer.followers >= 20

Displaying Rankings

<%= current_user.level %>

Getting Notifications

You can get observers notified any time merit changes reputation in your application.

To do so, add your observer (to app/models or app/observers, for example):

# reputation_change_observer.rb
class ReputationChangeObserver
  def update(changed_data)
    # `changed_data[:description]` holds information on what changed
    # badges granted or removed, points changed.

    # `changed_data[:merit_object]` reputation related object created by merit.
    # It responds to `sash_id` and `sash`. From there you can get to your
    # application object that had it's reputation changed, for example:
    # sash_id = changed_data[:merit_object].sash_id
    # User.where(sash_id: sash_id).first

    # You may use this to fill a timeline with notifications for users, send
    # emails, etc.
# In `config/initializers/merit.rb`
config.add_observer 'ReputationChangeObserver'

Uninstalling Merit

  1. Run rails d merit:install
  2. Run rails d merit MODEL_NAME (e.g. user)
  3. Run rails g merit:remove MODEL_NAME (e.g. user)
  4. Run rake db:migrate
  5. Remove merit from your Gemfile

To-do List

  • Move level from meritable model into Sash
  • ActivityLog should replace add_points log parameter