Date_Scopes - an ActiveRecord extension for automatic date-based scopes

Author: Jonathan Davies (ThroughTheNet)
License: MIT License
Version: 0.1.2
Released: December 2nd 2010


Date_Scopes is a rubygem that adds a simple macro, has_date_scopes to ActiveRecord. When used it adds a number of convinience scopes to your models relating to a whether a particular date field on that model is in the past or future. It also has other handy features.

Note that it does not depend on the whole of Rails, but is a pure ActiveRecord extension. As such it can be used wherever you use ActiveRecord, be it in Sinatra or whatever other mad thing you've cooked up.

Example Use Case

Say you have a model Post in your blog app. You want to be able to write your posts and save them, but not have them appear on the site until a certain time in the future, when they should automatically appear. Perhaps you have offers or coupons that need to expire after a certain date, or maybe some task has a deadline by which it must be completed. This gem will neaten up your model code whenever your model instances need to be divided into to groups: those of them whos date field is before, and those whos date field is after


Dynamic Scopes

Assuming that the model has a datetime field called published_at, one can simply call the has_date_scopes method in the model defintion like so:

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base

This will create the following scopes on the post class



The first scope will return all Post records whose published_at field is in the past. All the other scopes will return the Post records whose published_at field is in the future. The duplication of the negative scopes is just in the interests of natural looking code. Note that any records whose published_at field exactly equals will fall into both scopes. Any record with a nil published_at field will be in the negative scopes, unpublished and so on.

Virtual Accessors

Use of the macro also creates an automatic virtual getter/setter pair, allowing you to interact with the published_at column as if it were a boolean column called published in that it defines the following methods:



The first two simply return true or false depending on whether the field is in the past or future, much the same as the scopes described above. The second is more interesting, in that it accepts a boolean. If it is passed true, it will set the published_at column to If it is passed false it sets published_at to nil. Again it is obvious how this complements the scopes.

These virtual boolean setters/getters function exactly like real ones, so feel free to use them in your forms and such, in exactly the same way as you would as if you had a real boolean column in your schema. This can be used to keep a record of when a user set a boolean as true, for example if your date column is deleted_at you could use the deleted= virtual setter in a form so the user can 'delete' the record easily, and you will have a record in the deleted_at column of when this change took place. Obviously one could then use the non_deleted scope to hide those records from the index action etc.


The only option accepted by has_date_scopes currently is column which simply changes the field name used and the corresponding dynamic scopes/setters/getters from its default of :published. For example if one had a model Order with a DateTime column called filled_at one could define it like this:

class Order < ActiveRecord::Base
  has_date_scopes :column => :filled

Then the Order class would have the following scopes:



NOTE: The column option actually takes the verb that will form part of the various dynamic methods, and then adds _at to that name to find the name of the database column. In future it should be made to accept either but the current interface will not be broken. If the correct database column for the :column option is not found, the macro method will raise an exception.


This it github. You know the score!

  1. Fork
  2. Hack
  3. Push
  4. Pull

Tests are set up with Rspec2, bundle exec watchr spec.watchr is reccommended for continous testing goodness.


Copyright (c) 2010 ThroughTheNet. MIT Licensed. See the LICENSE file