Speed up your Active Record query performance by not loading Active Record objects when calling present?. Inspired by this tweet thread.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'attendance'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install attendance


That's it. Now when you call present? on an ActiveRecord::Relation object it will not load it into memory:

Without attendance:

User.where(github: 'schneems').present?
  User Load (1.5ms)  SELECT "users".* FROM "users" WHERE "users"."github" = $1  [["github", "schneems"]]
=> true

With attendance:

User.where(github: 'schneems').present?
  User Exists (1.2ms)  SELECT  1 AS one FROM "users" WHERE "users"."github" = $1 LIMIT $2  [["github", "schneems"], ["LIMIT", 1]]

Note: The SQL query only returns back true/false (SELECT 1) instead of the whole object.

How does this Gem Work?

It monkeypatches ActiveRecord::Relation to alias blank? to empty?.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run rake test to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bundle exec rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bundle exec rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub at[USERNAME]/attendance. This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.

Code of Conduct

Everyone interacting in the Attendance project’s codebases, issue trackers, chat rooms and mailing lists is expected to follow the code of conduct.