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Full-time web developer. Part-time smart ass.

I'm Brent Collier.

After a year and a half as an engineer on Twitter's Trust & Safety team, I'm looking for my next gig. Contact me if you know of something interesting.


form_for funkiness with ActiveResource

Posted on 03/17/2009

The combination of a running nose, scratchy throat, and this ActiveResource bug made for a lovely afternoon.

The form_for method in ActionView::Helpers::FormHelper, when given an ActiveRecord object as an argument, uses the new_record? method to determine whether the form action should be POST or PUT.  Well, today I was building a controller to consume a restful web service, so I was using ActiveResource instead of ActiveRecord.

Everything was hunky-dory until I began doing a little testing.

Whenever I would submit my 'new' form, it would blow up on a before_filter method.  The odd part was that the before_filter method was declared as such...

before_filter :do_stuff, :except => [:new, :create]

WTF? It should not have been calling the do_stuff method before the 'create' action.  Well, as it turns out, it wasn't.  A little debugging helped me realize that it was actually hitting the 'update' action.  Again, WTF?

I checked the form_for method call.  I checked the generated html.  I checked the routes file.  Everything looked kosher.  I was stumped.

When all else fails, google that shit.

I did, and what did I find?  This Lighthouse ticket describing how form_for no worky with ActiveResource in Rails 2.2.1 (and 2.2.2 evidently since that what I was running).  So what's the solution?

alias :new_record? :new?

Add that to your resource model.  ActiveResource defines a new? method which works exactly like ActiveRecord's new_record? method. 

I had actually checked the new_record? method when I was debugging the issue, but for some reason no bells and whistles went off when @thing.new_record? returned nil.  WTF Brent?  I blame it on the medication.