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Can't assign blank values to virtual password attributes #10793

railstutorial opened this Issue May 30, 2013 · 6 comments


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4 participants

Consider a standard User class with password and password confirmation, as in

class User < ActiveRecord::Base
  before_save { email.downcase! }
  validates :name, presence: true, length: { maximum: 50 }
  VALID_EMAIL_REGEX = /\A[\w+\-.]+@[a-z\d\-.]+\.[a-z]+\z/i
  validates :email, presence:   true,
                    format:     { with: VALID_EMAIL_REGEX },
                    uniqueness: { case_sensitive: false }
  validates :password_confirmation, presence: true
  validates :password, length: { minimum: 6 }

With such a model, it is apparently not possible to assign blank values to the password or confirmation attributes. For example, with the User model shown, we can see the problem with a console session:

>> user = User.new(name: "Example User", email: "user@example.com",
?>                 password: "foobar", password_confirmation: "foobar")
>> user.password = "  "
=> "  "
>> user.password
=> "foobar"

As we can see, the password hasn't changed, despite the assignment. As far as I can tell, this happens with nil and whitespace, i.e., objects for which obj.blank? is true. In particular, nonblank values do work:

>> user.password = "bazquux"
=> "bazquux"
>> user.password
=> "bazquux"

steveklabnik commented May 30, 2013

I have an outstanding pull request that changes some of this.

Awesome, good to hear it.


al2o3cr commented May 30, 2013

@railstutorial - it appears this behavior (not updating password when the new value is blank) was deliberately introduced in #9535 (in particular, right here).

#10694 will still do the same thing...


rafaelfranca commented May 30, 2013

This seems expected behavior to me

Thanks for the comments. I was worried it might have been introduced intentionally. I find the new behavior confusing, as have several readers of the book, but I've already worked around it in the latest version.

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