The musings of a nerd

Convenient ActiveRecord ordering

— Dec 11, 2012

TL;DR: My gem https://github.com/iamvery/order may make your life better!

Ordering records with ActiveRecord has always felt a bit weird to me. Its nearly the only simple circumstance I find myself in where I must write a short SQL string. Today I released a simple little gem called order that attempts to address that issue by abstracting the definition of orderings into a simple DSL.

Check out this example model:

Person < ActiveRecord::Base
  orderable :first_name, :last_name

You can get ordered records like this:

=> SELECT "people".* FROM "people" ORDER BY "first_name" ASC

The library will also let you get results in descending order, specify orderings with aliased names on multiple columns, and define custom ordering stratgies using a block. Check out the README!

The last cool thing about this library is the order_by method. This lets you specify multiple ordering using a specially formatted string. This is particulary useful with controller parameters.

Person.order_by('age, blood_type.desc, name')

Imagine that ordering being appended to a URL:


+1 for API ordering support!

Check it out at https://github.com/iamvery/order and let me know what you think!

By the way… how was “order” not already a gem?!

© Jay Hayes