field_with_errors div getting added around default <option> tag #7017

rustygeldmacher opened this Issue Jul 9, 2012 · 3 comments


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Came across a strange HTML validation error while updating our app from Rails 3.0.11 to 3.2.6. It seems like if we have a <select> tag for a field with both an :include_blank option and a validation error, the <div class="field_with_errors"> wrapper will be put around both the <select> tag and the first <option>.

Here's a quick way to reproduce.

Assume a fresh Rails 3.2.6 app with the following model generation:

rails g model my_model val:string 

and the following in app/models/my_model.rb:

class MyModel < ActiveRecord::Base
  attr_accessible :val
  validates :val, :presence => true

Now in a rails console go:

> mm =
> mm.valid?
> fb ='my_model', mm, helper, {}, nil)
>, [:a, :b], :include_blank => 'select something...')
 => "<div class=\"field_with_errors\"><select id=\"my_model_val\" name=\"my_model[val]\"><div class=\"field_with_errors\"><option value=\"\">select something...</option></div>\n<option value=\"a\">a</option>\n<option value=\"b\">b</option></select></div>" 

Notice the extra <div class="field_with_errors"> around the first option? This is not valid HTML, and probably should not be included in the output <select> tag.

I've tracked this down to the method add_options in the InstanceTag class (in the file lib/action_view/helpers/form_options_helper.rb) and its use of content_tag in order to generate the option for :include_blank or :prompt. It seems like ActionView::Helpers::ActiveModelHelper wraps content_tag so that it calls error_wrapping around generated tags, thus causing the errant <div> around the first option.

I'd be happy to submit a patch for a fix, but I'd like some guidance on where/how to best fix this. I can think of a few ways to fix this, in order of my personal preference:

  1. Have add_options call content_tag_string rather than content_tag -- content_tag_string is just a thin wrapper around content_tag and is not wrapped so as to call error_wrapping.
  2. Add an extra option to content_tag (called maybe :wrap_errors) that if present and false will cause error_wrapping in ActionView::Helpers::ActiveModelHelper to be skip creating the wrapper div.
  3. Change error_wrapping in ActionView::Helpers::ActiveModelHelper to be aware of and skip <option> tags
  4. Change @@field_error_proc in ActionView::Base to explicitly not wrap <option> tags

Thanks for listening, looking forward to some feedback!


I think that the options 1. is the better.


Sent pull request -- not sure where to continue the discussion, here or there. I added a general test case for selects with errors, then a second case for selects with errors plus empty initial options. Please let me know how it looks, thanks!

@rafaelfranca rafaelfranca was assigned Jul 10, 2012

Merged both pull requests. Thank you

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