• constructor
inherits: can.List

A list connected to can.Model's CRUD abilities.

new can.Model.List()

Create an empty model list.

new can.Model.List( [models] )

Create a model list with the provided model instances.


  1. models {Array<can.Model | Object>}Optional

    An array of can.Model instances or Objects that will be converted to the list's Map type.

new can.Model.List( deferred )

Create a model list with the results of deferred.


  1. deferred {Deferred.Array<can.Model | Object>}

    A promise that will resolve to an array. Once the promise resolves, the List will have its contents replaced as if new can.Model.List(array) had been called.

new can.Model.List( params )

Create an initially empty model list, but use the model's findAll to get a list of models and add it to this empty list.


  1. params {Object}

    Params that are passed to the Map property's findAll method.


can.Model.List is a can.List associated with a can.Model. can.Model.Lists are just like can.List except they have a few super-powers:

  • They are returned by findAll.
  • They automatically remove "destroyed" items.
  • They can retrieve items from the server (similar to findAll).

Defining a model list

When can.Model is extended, can.Model.List is automatically extended and set as that model's List property. Typically, a can.Model.List is defined for you. For example:

Task = can.Model.extend({
  findAll: "/tasks"
new Task.List instanceof can.Model.List //-> true

This List type is returned by findAll:

Task.findAll({}, function(tasks){
  tasks instanceof Task.List //-> true

The List's Map property points to the extended can.Model:

Task = can.Model.extend({
  findAll: "/tasks"
Task.List.Map //-> Task

Defining custom can.Model.Lists allows you to extend lists with helper functions for a list of a specific type. The following adds the ability to retrieve the number of completed and remaining todos:

Todo.List = Todo.List.extend({
    completed: function() {
        var completed = 0;
        this.each(function(i, todo) {
            completed += todo.attr('complete') ? 1 : 0
        return completed;
    remaining: function() {
        return this.attr('length') - this.completed();

Todo.findAll({}, function(todos) {
    todos.completed() // -> 0
    todos.remaining() // -> 2

Creating a model list instance

If you use findAll, it calls back with and resolves to a model list:

var def = Task.findAll({}, function(tasks){
  tasks instanceof Task.List //-> true

  tasks instanceof Task.List //-> true

To create an empty model list yourself, use new {model_name}.List() like:

var todos = new Todo.List();
todos.attr("length") //-> 0

You can also pass an array to instantiate the list with the array data using new {model_name}.List(ARRAY). It can be either an array of models:

var todo1 = new Todo( { name: "Do the dishes", id: 1 } ),
    todo2 = new Todo( { name: "Wash floors", id: 2 } )
var todos = new Todo.List( [todo1, todo2] );

...or an array of objects. If objects are provided, model list will convert them to models. The following does the same thing as the previous example:

var todos = new Todo.List( [
  { name: "Do the dishes", id: 1 },
  { name: "Wash floors", id: 2 }
] );

If, instead of using an array, a model list is created with a plain JavaScript object like:

var todos = new Todo.List({due: "today"});

The object is assumed to be parameters to the list's Model's findAll method. An empty list will be returned, but Todo.findAll will be called. The items it returns will be inserted into the list.

var todos = new Todo.List({due: "today"});
todos.attr("length") //-> 0

todos.bind("length", function(){
  console.log("items added to the list")

Removing models from model list

One advantage that can.Model.List has over a traditional can.List is that when you destroy a model, if it is in that list, it will automatically be removed from the list.

// Listen for when something is removed from the todos list.
todos.bind("remove", function( ev, oldVals, indx ) {
    console.log("todo"+indx+" removed")

todos.attr(0).destroy(); // console shows "todo 0 removed"