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A gem to edit your database records via the console and your favorite editor.
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lib Bumped to version 0.1.6
test upgrade mocha deps to avoid require 'mocha' deprecation
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.gitignore add jruby test support but requires gemfile :cry:
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README.rdoc make usage with bundler simpler
init.rb make usage with bundler simpler



Updates records from the console via your preferred editor. You can update a record's columns as well as any attribute that has accessor methods. Records are edited via a temporary file and once saved, the records are updated. Records go through a filter before and after editing the file. Yaml is the default filter, but you can define your own filter simply with a module and 2 expected methods. See ConsoleUpdate::Filter for more details. Compatible with all major Ruby versions and Rails 2.3.x and up.


Install as a gem

$ gem install console_update

# with bundler: add in Gemfile
gem 'console_update'

# without bundler: add in config/environment.rb
config.gem "console_update"

Or as a plugin

$ script/plugin install git://


For a given model Url, update your records as you please:

$ script/console

# Update a record from the object
>> Url.first.console_update

# Update a group of records
>> records = Url.all :limit=>10
>> Url.console_update records

# Find and update by a given id
>> Url.find_and_console_update 10

# Update through any named_scope ie tagged_with()
>> Url.tagged_with("sweetness").console_update


Define your editor if not already picked up by environment variable $EDITOR:

ConsoleUpdate.editor = 'vim'

Configure model(s) to update from the console:

class Url

By default, can_console_update() has sensical defaults for what attributes to update. But you can setup your own defaults as needed:

can_console_update :only=>%w{column1 column2 relation_accessor1}
can_console_update :except=>%w{column2}

To use the named_scope chaining, enable it once.


More Examples

Although console_update() uses the default editable columns, it can take options to override these as needed. Note these options can be passed to any of the console_update-like methods shown above:

records = Url.all :limit=>100
# Only edit this one attribute
Url.console_update records, :only=>%w{description}
# Edit all the default attributes except this one
Url.console_update records, :except=>%w{description}

As mentioned above, any attribute can be edited. This means it's possible to edit associated values as well as column values.

Say we have a Url that has many tags and accessor methods to edit them ie tag_list() and tag_list=():

@url.tag_list = ['tag1', 'tag2']
@url.tag_list # =>['tag1', 'tag2']

By simply passing 'tag_list' as another attribute to console_update() or can_console_update(), we can edit these associated values:

class Url
  can_console_update :only=>%w{column1 column2 tag_list}

Url.console_update records, :only=>%w{column1 column2 tag_list}


So should you be updating production records with this plugin? Yes and no. Yes, if you're updating some simple string/text values. If editing more complex objects ie non-string objects and associated objects, try edge cases to ensure the updates work as expected. Although this plugin already comes with decent tests, I'm always open to patches for edge cases I may have missed.


The need for editing speed in my console-based project.


Please report them on github.



  • Have a config file as an alternative configuration method which doesn't clutter models with can_console_update() calls.

  • Make ORM-agnostic.

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