Notes posted to Ruby on Rails

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December 5, 2012 - (v3.2.8)
1 thank

post user authentication info to sessions create action

post_via_redirect(“sessions”, {:user=>{:email=> user.email, :password => user.password}})

November 30, 2012
0 thanks

Beware: virtual attributes are ignored

Even though validations are called, virtual attributes are ignored.

November 30, 2012
0 thanks

Can't find documention on :find_by option

I found code that had a :find_by option on belongs_to. I’m sure it’s more or less self explanatory, but I couldn’t find it listed anywhere as an option.

My bad, belongs_to was in a controller, not a model.

November 28, 2012 - (>= v3.0.0)
0 thanks

String to date conversion not necessarily symmetric

Note that converting from Date to String and back again is not necessarily symmetric, because the conversion to string may result in a format that is not properly converted by `to_date`.

For one thing, `to_date` sets the century argument in _parse to false. Thus if the default date format has a two-digit year, like the :short one, the century will be dropped.

Date.today.to_s.to_date #=> Mon, 28 Nov 0012 
November 24, 2012 - (>= v3.1.0)
0 thanks

Actually one can see from the source that it just calls utc

From utc:

Returns a Time or DateTime instance that represents the time in UTC.

Seems to have changed in 3.1.0

November 24, 2012 - (<= v3.2.8)
0 thanks

Use collect instead of inject/reduce

You can still use collect when you nest content_tag . Just join the collection in the end and remember to add html_safe if you don’t want your html to be escaped.

a = ['a','b','c']
content_tag(:ul, :class => 'a class') do
  a.collect do |item|
    content_tag(:li, item)
November 16, 2012
0 thanks

The last existing version

It says: The last existing version, and yet when I run a rails console in a 3.0.17 and try the method, it just works. Or does it mean it was never worked on past 2.3.8 ?

November 6, 2012
0 thanks

Selected parameter

If you want multiple options to be selected by default you can pass an array of values as “selected” option. It should be obvious, but odradek’s and batarski’s notes can confuse somebody in this case.

November 6, 2012 - (>= v3.0.0)
0 thanks

attributes that have the same names as options

For reasons that are beyond my comprehension, this piece of code

class Working

  include ActiveModel::Validations

  attr_accessor :format

  validates :format, :presence => true, :format => { :with => /\AWorking/ }


works (NOTE: it has an attribute that has the same name of an option), while this

class NotWorking < ActiveRecord::Base

  validates :format, :presence => true, :format => { :with => /\ANot Working/ }


does not (assuming that you have a legacy db in which you can’t change the names of the columns). It throws an ArgumentError at you. However, a crude hack is to add an explicit accessor to the :format method, like this

class WorkingAgain < ActiveRecord::Base

  validates :format, :presence => true, :format => { :with => /\AWorking again/ }

  def format


Any explanation is welcome.

November 5, 2012 - (v3.0.0 - v3.2.8)
0 thanks

Specifying an accept header in your tests

To specify an accept header, you need to pass it in the second hash like this:

get '/url', nil, {'HTTP_ACCEPT' => 'application/json'}

The documentation says everything is uppercased and HTTP_ is appended when necessary, but that wasn’t working for me.

October 26, 2012 - (<= v3.2.8)
0 thanks

is now a subclass of Hash that preserves order (or _is_ a Hash if running Ruby 1.9 or greater)

You might not realize it preserves order because it delegates inspect to its super-class, Hash, which doesn’t preserve order. But you will see that order is preserved if you iterate or use the keys or values methods:

>> names = ['Amy Irving', 'Jane Doe', 'John Doe', 'John Updike', 'Susan Anthony']
>> ordered = names.group_by { |name| name.split.first }
=> #<OrderedHash {"John"=>["John Doe", "John Updike"], "Amy"=>["Amy Irving"], "Susan"=>["Susan Anthony"], "Jane"=>["Jane Doe"]}>

# (note that the inspect above is in undefined order)

>> ordered.keys                          # will be ordered properly
=> ["Amy", "Jane", "John", "Susan"]

>> ordered.each { |first, full| puts first; full.each { |name| puts "  #{name}" } }  # will be ordered properly
  Amy Irving
  Jane Doe
  John Doe
  John Updike
  Susan Anthony
October 26, 2012
0 thanks

#performed? is an option when getting ActionController::DoubleRenderError

You can avoid `ActionController::DoubleRenderError (Can only render or redirect once per action)` with `#performed?`

For example

def index
  redirect_to not_found_path unless authenticated?
  render :action => 'update' unless performed?
October 24, 2012
0 thanks

If you happen to face some weird rounding issue...


=> "190 kr"

check out your… translations! Especially ‘significant’ key… In my case it was

       significant: 'false'

that broke rounding. It should have been

       significant: ! 'false'

And now it works perfectly

=> "187 kr"
October 24, 2012
2 thanks

To add an ID to the form

Found this the hard way, but to add an ID to the form generated by form_tag, you must explicitly make hashes.

Add ID

<%= form_tag({:action => 'create'}, {:id => 'anID'}) %>
October 18, 2012
0 thanks

Showing the select with a value previously known

Enter the value in the ‘value to check if exist in the list’ section and the drop down should have that selected

Code example

select_tag "name",
options_for_select(list.collect{ [ text, value] },
            'value to check if exist in the list', 
            {:include_blank => true}
October 7, 2012
0 thanks

Send with filename

The Content-Disposition response header holds the suggested attachment filename (i.e. “attachment; filename=fname.ext”)

Set the :disposition option to pass this name.


http = Net::HTTP.new(@page.host)
res = http.post(path, info.to_query, headers)
send_data res, :content_type => res.content_type, :disposition => res["Content-Disposition"], status: res.code
October 2, 2012 - (v2.3.2 - v2.3.8)
0 thanks

Clarification with use of update_all

I would like to point out that if you are on rails 2.3.11 or lower you will not be able to run ledermann code.

Ledermann Code

user.messages.update_all(:read => true)

If you are running 2.3 or later it you will have to use James code

James Code

Message.update_all({:read => true}, {:id => user.messages})

thanks guys for all the code help

September 28, 2012 - (>= v3.0.0)
0 thanks

Don't mix attr_accessible and attr_protected within single class.

Don’t use constructs like this one, they won’t work:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  attr_accessible :name
  attr_protected :id, :password_digest, :created_at, :updated_at, as: :admin

Instead, use the same method for all roles:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  attr_accessible :name
  attr_accessible :name, :login, as: :admin

You may want to add following to your `/config/initializers`:

class ActiveRecord::Base
  class << self
    alias :original_inherited :inherited
    def inherited subclass
      original_inherited subclass
      subclass.attr_accessible(subclass.attribute_names.map(&:to_sym) - [:id, :created_at, :updated_at], as: :admin)
September 28, 2012
1 thank

Don't allow mass assignments on model

Replying to elfo’s comment, you can achieve it easier, just add following line to `/config/application.rb`.

config.active_record.whitelist_attributes = true

All attributes in all models will be mass assignment protected by default. You can still use attr_accessible or attr_protected to override it.

September 28, 2012 - (<= v2.3.8)
2 thanks

Skip validations



will skip validations

September 19, 2012 - (v3.1.0 - v3.2.8)
0 thanks

Return value:

The result of this method is a hash of the following form:

{"table_field"=>"table value", "another_field" => 15, ...}

For example:

September 16, 2012
This note might be spam Show
September 11, 2012 - (>= v3.1.0)
1 thank

Custom serialization

It is possible to supply a class with own (de)serialization logic to the serialize call. Given object must respond to load and dump calls.

Following example serializes symbols into their string representation and store them in database as raw strings instead of their YAML representation, i.e. :pumpkin would be stored as ‘pumpkin’, and not as ‘--- :pumpkin\n’


clas SomeModel < ActiveRecord::Base
  class SymbolWrapper
    def self.load(string)

    def self.dump(symbol)

  serialize :value, SymbolWrapper
September 5, 2012 - (v3.2.1 - v3.2.8)
1 thank


Note that in the example shown in the documentation, `user.assign_attributes({ :name => ‘Josh’, :is_admin => true })` would raise a `ActiveModel::MassAssignmentSecurity::Error` and would not actually update user.name, contrary to what the example seems to demonstrate.

September 5, 2012 - (>= v3.0.0)
0 thanks

Don't allow mass assignments on model

To block all mass assignments on a model, it’s as simple as having an empty list of accessible attributes.

class Users < ActiveRecord::Base
   attr_accessible #none
August 30, 2012
3 thanks


In Rails 3.X console:

August 30, 2012
0 thanks

How to handle dynamic controller class evaluation based on params

Possible with following snippet of code (for instance if each branch has some different controller logic, but if the controller is not present, it should fallback to default controller).

Advantages are so we do not have to make blank inherited controllers and routes for them, to do it with plain inheritance.

class ActionDispatch::Routing::RouteSet::CustomDispatcher < ActionDispatch::Routing::RouteSet::Dispatcher
  # These are the controllers that we should attempt fallbacks on
  FALLBACK_CONTROLLERS = /customer\/branch\/(projects|events)$/

  def controller(params, default_controller=true)
    # This defines when we want to attempt fallbacks pattern
    super unless params[:branch_id] && params[:controller].try(:match, FALLBACK_CONTROLLERS)
    controller_param = params[:controller]

    # Having these supplied, we handle controller evaluation by our own method...
    controller_reference_with_fallbacks(params[:branch_id], controller_param)
  rescue NameError => e
    raise ActionController::RoutingError, e.message, e.backtrace if default_controller


  def controller_reference_with_fallbacks(branch_id, controller_param)
    # This is how fallbacks are evaluated       
    controller_name = "#{controller_param.sub('/branch', "/branch/#{branch_id}").camelize}Controller"

    controller = ActiveSupport::Dependencies.reference(controller_name)

    rescue NameError => e  # If there is no specific class for given branch, fallback to original class

ActionDispatch::Routing::Mapper::Mapping.class_eval do

  # We do overwrite dispatcher class, that is used to evaluate controller classes from params
  def app
        to.respond_to?(:call) ? to : ::ActionDispatch::Routing::RouteSet::CustomDispatcher.new(:defaults => defaults),
August 24, 2012
0 thanks

Specify :host option in emails

Emails need a fully qualified URL (with domain). Use the :host parameter.

But note also that you need to specify a value that is not dependent upon the request context. http://api.rubyonrails.org/classes/ActionMailer/Base.html recommends setting a default host in application.rb For those of us who have development, test, staging and production environments, set in the environment-specific files, or in the :default hash in the mailer.

This applies to both +url_for(:host => “example.com”)+ and when using named routes as in +widgets_url(:host => “example.com”)+

August 22, 2012 - (>= v3.0.0)
0 thanks

Rails Guides

There is an excellent guide on the use of this method located here:


August 22, 2012 - (v3.2.8)
0 thanks

Using Amazon Simple Email Service with ActionMailer

First of all, get all the necessary SES credentials and verify your email address.

Then, just edit your config/environments/*.rb files:

config.action_mailer.delivery_method = :smtp
config.action_mailer.smtp_settings = {
    address: 'email-smtp.us-east-1.amazonaws.com',
    user_name: 'your-ses-smtp-user-name',
    password: 'your-ses-smtp-password',
    authentication: :login,
    enable_starttls_auto: true

And that’s it!