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An acts_as_sortable/acts_as_list replacement built for Rails 3 & 4

branch: master

ranked-model is a modern row sorting library built for Rails 3 & 4. It uses ARel aggressively and is better optimized than most other libraries.

Build Status


ranked-model passes specs with Rails 3.1, 3.2, 4.0, and 4.1-beta for MySQL, Postgres, and SQLite on Ruby 1.9.2, 1.9.3, 2.0, 2.1, jruby-19mode, and rubinius where Rails supports the platform. This is with the exception of Postgres before Rails 4.0 on all platforms, which is unsupported (I'd gladly accept a PR to fix this).

TL;DR, if you are using Rails 4 and up you are 100% good to go. Before Rails 4, be wary of Postgres.

To install ranked-model, just add it to your Gemfile:

gem 'ranked-model'

# Or pin ranked-model to git
# gem 'ranked-model',
#   :git => ''

Then use bundle install to update your Gemfile.lock.

Simple Use

Use of ranked-model is straight ahead. Get some ducks:

class Duck < ActiveRecord::Base

Put your ducks in a row:

class Duck < ActiveRecord::Base

  include RankedModel
  ranks :row_order


This simple example assumes an integer column called row_order. To order Ducks by this order:


The ranking integers stored in the row_order column will be big and spaced apart. When you implement a sorting UI, just update the resource by appending the column name with _position and indicating the desired position:

@duck.update_attribute :row_order_position, 0  # or 1, 2, 37. :first, :last, :up and :down are also valid

Position numbers begin at zero. A position number greater than the number of records acts the same as :last. :up and :down move the record up/down the ladder by one step.

So using a normal json controller where @duck.attributes = params[:duck];, JS can look pretty elegant:

  type: 'PUT',
  url: '/ducks',
  dataType: 'json',
  data: { duck: { row_order_position: 0 } },  // or whatever your new position is

Complex Use

The ranks method takes serveral arguments:

class Duck < ActiveRecord::Base

  include RankedModel

  ranks :row_order,           # Name this ranker, used with rank()
    :column => :sort_order    # Override the default column, which defaults to the name

  belongs_to :pond
  ranks :swimming_order,
    :with_same => :pond_id    # Ducks belong_to Ponds, make the ranker scoped to one pond

  scope :walking, where(:walking => true )
  ranks :walking_order,
    :scope => :walking        # Narrow this ranker to a scope


When you make a query, add the rank:





This libarary is written using ARel from the ground-up. This leaves the code much cleaner than many implementations. ranked-model is also optimized to write to the database as little as possible: ranks are stored as a number between -8388607 and 8388607 (the MEDIUMINT range in MySQL). When an item is given a new position, it assigns itself a rank number between two neighbors. This allows several movements of items before no digits are available between two neighbors. When this occurs, ranked-model will try to shift other records out of the way. If items can't be easily shifted anymore, it will rebalance the distribution of rank numbers across all members of the ranked group.


Fork, clone, write a test, write some code, commit, push, send a pull request. Github FTW!

The specs can be run with sqlite, postgres, and mysql:

DB=postgres bundle exec rake

Is no DB is specified, the tests run against sqlite.

RankedModel is mostly the handiwork of Matthew Beale:

A hearty thanks to these contributors:

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