Filter collection

The filter collection is a fine specimen. It latches onto another collection (known as the “master” collection) and listens to various events, keeping its models up-to-date based on various criteria it is given.

For instance, a filter collection could attach to your “users” collection in your app, but only contain users that begin with the letter “a” or users under the age of 30.

You can arbitrarily set the filtering, sorting, and limiting of the items in the filter collection as you see fit.

This gives you a very powerful tool to show specific slices of data without having to worry about keeping that slice up to date. It all just works. You can even attach a filter collection to another filter collection to narrow down your data even more.


The filter collection fires all events that Composer.Collection fires, with no material differences.


This is the filter collection class. It extends Composer.Collection class, giving it all the Collection’s abilities.

master :: attribute(null)

This parameter is the master collection this filter collection latches on to. It must be preset for the filter collection to function properly, and is generally set by initialize.

filter :: function(model)

Default: function() { return true; }. The main filter function. This will return either true or false for every model passed (true meaning “yes this filter collection should contain this model”, false meaning “exclude this model from the filter collection”).

transform :: function(model, action)

Default: null. A function you set that will run any needed data transformation on models added or removed from the filter collection. model is the model being added/removed, action will be one of “add” or “remove”.

limit :: attribute(false)

Either false (disabled) or an integer value that determines the max number of models this filter collection should hold. This is applied after the sortfn.

options :: attribute({…})

options: {
    forward_all_events: false,
    refresh_on_change: false,
    sort_event: false

forward_all_events tells the filter collection whether or not to forward all events that happen on the master colleciton through itself. This can be useful if you have a view that needs to be updated for every change in the underlying data (it makes the filter collection much more trigger happy) but probably isn’t needed in most instances.

refresh_on_change tells the filter collection that when any data changes, we want to clear out the models, re-filter them, re-sort them, and apply our limit. This is a very expensive operation depending our your filter collection model set, and generally shouldn’t be used (it’s mainly provided for backwards compatibility). If this is false, the filter collection is smarter about what data changes will trigger what events.

sort_event tells the filter collection to fire a “sort” event whenever the sort order of items changes.

initialize :: function(master, options)

Constructor. master is the collection (or filter collection) to attach to and start filtering on.

options can contain both filter collection options as well as various parameters to set into the filter collection itself (sortfn, filter, transform, etc) on instantiation.

var filter = new Composer.FilterCollection(new Composer.Collection, {
    refresh_on_change: true,
    filter: function(model) { return model.get('name').toLowerCase() == 'larry'; }

attach :: function()

Attach the filter collection to the master collection. This is called by default by initialize.

detach :: function()

Stop listening to events on the master. This should be called on any filter collection you wish to remove from your app after it has been instantiated, otherwise it will not be garbage collected.

refresh :: function(options)

Refresh the models in the filter collection (brute force). This will clear the filter collection, re-filter the models from the master, re-sort them, and then apply the limit (if it exists).

options can contain the following items:

  • diff_events - if true, refresh will track which models have been added / removed during the process and trigger “add” or “remove” events for them.

Note that options can contain silencing directives.

add :: function(data, options)

Like Collection.add, but will apply the transform function to the model (with the “add” action) and also will return false if after transformation the model does not result in filter returning true.

This function also adds the model to the master collection.

options can contain the following items:

  • at - insert the model at a specific integer index in the collection’s data

Note that options can contain silencing directives.

remove :: function(model, options)

Like Collection.remove, but will apply the transform function the the model (with the “remove” action). Removes the passed model from the master collection as well as the filter collection.

Note that options can contain silencing directives.