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Your spec fails and you don't know why. You look at the log, but it doesn't give you any clues. You waste 15 minutes trying to figure it out.

WhinyValidation to the rescue.

When an ActiveRecord/ActiveModel model won't save because it's invalid, this gem writes the validation error messages to the log.

The log shows all the attributes of the ActiveRecord/ActiveModel object that failed, along with the error message.

Validation errors are shown in an attractive yellow, which stands out nicely if your terminal background is dark.

It can be useful in development and especially in test mode, to understand why a model didn't save.

Read more in this blog post on I Like Stuff.

Whiny Validation


Ruby 2.0 and above.

Rails 3.2 and above.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'whiny_validation'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install whiny_validation


When a model didn't save but you expected it to save, look in the log for "Validation failed."


By default, the gem uses debug-level logging, so any Rails environment with debug-level logging will include the whiny validation messages.

You can change the log level like so:

# config/initializers/whiny_validation.rb
WhinyValidation.configure do |config|
  config.log_level = :info


Quit your whining.


Q: I use Test::Unit because I hate RSpec. Does it work with Test::Unit?
A: Yes. Quit your whining.

Q: I use RSpec because I hate Test::Unit. Does it work with RSpec?
A: Yes. Quit your whining.

Q: I use ...
A: Yes. It is independent of the test framework you use. Quit your whining.

Q: I use ActiveModel but not ActiveRecord. Can I use this gem?
A: Yes. Now the gem works with any ActiveModel-compatible framework. Quit your whining.

Q: Why not log to the console in addition to the log file? That would make it more obvious that a test is failing.
A: Because some tests intentionally pass invalid input. You wouldn't want to see those in the console. Quit your whining.

Q: Why not raise an error in tests when input is invalid? That would make it more obvious that a test is failing.
A: See previous answer. Quit your whining.

Q: I don't want to see validation errors in my production log. Users make mistakes and that shouldn't go in my log.
A: This gem logs at the debug level by default. If you're using debug in production and still don't want to see this gem's output, put it in a group in your Gemfile. Quit your whining.


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request


Write helpful info to the log when an ActiveRecord model fails to validate. Mainly to help debug specs.




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