[rspec-users] RSpec get model attribute values by name

Zach Dennis zach.dennis at gmail.com
Fri Jan 30 16:07:47 EST 2009

On Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 3:45 PM, James Byrne <lists at ruby-forum.com> wrote:
> This is a request for a programming technique:
> Given
> class Mymodel < ActiveRecord::Base
> end
> my_instance = Mymodel.new
> If I am given a string representation of an attribute "xxx" what is the
> most elegant way of passing that string to my_instance to retrieve its
> value?  This is probably a common idiom, given what Rails does, but I
> cannot seem to find its code in the rails gem at the moment.
> So, if anyone knows hoe to do this off the cuff I would appreciate it.
> An example of the intended use of this is
>  def table_compare(table1, table2, array_of_attributes) do |t1, t2,
> aon|
>    tint = t1.column_names & t2.column_names
>    tfin = tint & aon
>    tfin.each do |column|
>       return false if t1.column <> t2.column
>    end
>    return tfin  #could be nil
>  end
> I want to convert the string value of the column variable into the
> attribute name to obtain the value of that attribute.

I'm assuming you want to treat your model instance like a hash:

m = MyModel.new :name => "foo"
m["name"]      # => "foo"


On a different note, how about some better variable names?

Zach Dennis

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