This week’s report covers changes from 29 April 2008 to 4th May 2008 (the day the corresponding Rails Envy podcast was recorded).

change_table for ActiveRecord migrations

Thanks to Jeff Dean, who also blogged about the new change_table feature in ActiveRecord migrations, you can now change a table with a block like so:

change_table :videos do |t|
  t.add_timestamps
  t.add_belongs_to :goat
  t.add_string :name, :email, :limit => 20
  t.remove_column :name, :email # takes multiple arguments
  t.rename :new_name
  t.string :new_string_column # executes against the renamed table name
end

Some key things to note:

  • add_XXX would add a new column for you, e.g. add_string would add a new string field.
  • Of course, add_timestamps would add the magic created_at and updated_at datetime fields.
  • remove_column now takes multiple arguments.
  • rename would rename the table.

Very nice, DRY enhancement, props to Jeff Dean once again.

Related changeset: http://github.com/rails/rails/commit/96980bd561d79824b6cb6efbcbecdcbf8785d452

ActiveRecord::Base.create takes a block like ActiveRecord::Base.new

Yup now you can also create ActiveRecord objects with a block argument just like you could for ActiveRecord::Base.new:

@person = Person.create(params[:person]) do |p|
  p.name = 'Konata Izumi'
  p.age = 17
end

Credit goes to Adam Meehan for this patch.

Related changeset: http://github.com/rails/rails/commit/dd120ede53eaf71dee76894998a81626b7a689fc

Bugfix: change_column should be able to use :null => true on a field that
formerly had false

You can now use change_column in your migrations to alter a column as nullable if it was previously NOT NULL.

This bugfix is courtesy of Nate Wiger.

Related changeset: http://github.com/rails/rails/commit/10ef65a3b054270ed3d458ec8eb7c2b9a3e638f7

As always, let me know of any suggestions or how I can improve the Living on the Edge (of Rails) series.