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README.rdoc

Build Status

Nilify Blanks

In Rails when saving a model from a form and values are not provided by the user, an empty string is recorded to the database instead of a NULL as many would prefer (mixing blanks and NULLs can become confusing). This plugin allows you to specify a list of attributes (or exceptions from all the attributes) that will be converted to nil if they are blank before a model is saved.

By default, columns set as NOT NULL will not be nilified, since that value cannot be persisted, and it might be better to catch that with a validation. If you want to nilify those columns anyway, you can use `only:` (see below) to explicitly mention them.

Only attributes responding to blank? with a value of true will be converted to nil. Therefore, this does not work with integer fields with the value of 0, for example. Usage is best shown through examples:

Requirements

As of v1.4.0, this gem requires Rails 4 and Ruby 2.2 or higher.

Install

Include the gem using bundler in your Gemfile:

gem "nilify_blanks"

Basic Usage

# Checks and converts all content fields in the model
class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  nilify_blanks
end

# Checks and converts only text fields in the model
class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  nilify_blanks types: [:text]
end

# Checks and converts only the title and author fields
class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  nilify_blanks only: [:author, :title]
end

# Checks and converts all fields except for title and author
class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  nilify_blanks except: [:author, :title]
end

# Checks and converts any fields, regardless of their null constraint
class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  nilify_blanks nullables_only: false
end

Global Usage

You can also apply nilify_blanks to all models inheriting from ActiveRecord::Base:

ActiveRecord::Base.nilify_blanks

Or perhaps just a model namespace base class:

Inventory::Base.nilify_blanks

Specifying a Callback

Checking uses an ActiveRecord before_validation callback by default, but you can specify a different callback with the :before option. Any callback will work - just first remove the “before_” prefix from the name.

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  nilify_blanks before: :create
end

class Post < ActiveRecord::Base
  nilify_blanks before: :validation_on_update
end

RSpec Matcher

First, include the matchers:

require "nilify_blanks/matchers"

To ensure for a given column:

describe City do
  it { should nilify_blanks_for(:name) }
end

To ensure for all applicable content columns:

describe City do
  it { should nilify_blanks }
end

You can optionally match on options also:

describe City do
  it { should nilify_blanks_for(:name, before: :create) }
end

describe City do
  it { should nilify_blanks(before: :create) }
end

Running Tests

This gem uses appraisal to test with different versions of the dependencies. See Appraisal first for which versions are tested, then run to test all appraisals:

$ rake appraisal install
$ rake appraisal test

About

Provides a framework for saving incoming blank values as nil in the database in instances where you'd rather use DB NULL than simply a blank string.

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