select(*fields) public

Works in two unique ways.

First: takes a block so it can be used just like Array#select.

Model.all.select { |m| m.field == value }

This will build an array of objects from the database for the scope, converting them into an array and iterating through them using Array#select.

Second: Modifies the SELECT statement for the query so that only certain fields are retrieved:

# => [#<Model field:value>]

Although in the above example it looks as though this method returns an array, it actually returns a relation object and can have other query methods appended to it, such as the other methods in ActiveRecord::QueryMethods.

The argument to the method can also be an array of fields.

Model.select(:field, :other_field, :and_one_more)
# => [#<Model field: "value", other_field: "value", and_one_more: "value">]

You can also use one or more strings, which will be used unchanged as SELECT fields.

Model.select('field AS field_one', 'other_field AS field_two')
# => [#<Model field: "value", other_field: "value">]

If an alias was specified, it will be accessible from the resulting objects:

Model.select('field AS field_one').first.field_one
# => "value"

Accessing attributes of an object that do not have fields retrieved by a select will throw ActiveModel::MissingAttributeError:

# => ActiveModel::MissingAttributeError: missing attribute: other_field
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November 24, 2014
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Arguments for .select must be array

Model.select(:field, :other_field, :and_one_more) has a typo. It must take an array of arguments as the description states:

Model.select([:field, :other_field, :and_one_more])

January 5, 2015
0 thanks

arguments do not need to be an array

it’s a small point, but if you look at the source, the method is defined with the splat operator in the arguments:

def select (*fields)

this means that a list of arguments is automatically converted to an array. There is no typo in the description above.

It will also work to pass an array:

select([:field1, :field2])

although the select method interprets this as a single argument, and places it into an array (due to the splat operator), this is then passed to the _select(*fields) method, which immediately calls fields.flatten!

So either a list or an array may be passed, both will work.