hook38 hook38 - 5 months ago 6x
Ruby Question

Display text value from dropdown form stored as integer

Following RailsGuides, I am creating a dropdown in form like this:

[['Lisbon', 1], ['Madrid', 2], ...]

which produces a dropdown list like:

<option value="1">Lisbon</option>
<option value="2">Madrid</option>

On my show page, I would like to display the text (
) of my stored value instead of the integer (

The value is stored in the database. This is a live system, which means I cannot change the stored contents (I can, but prefer not to).

I prefer to build the dropdown list from a hash, but since this is the suggested format in RailsGuide, I assume there is a inbuilt helper that can do this. It would be easier if I store the dropdown list as a string, although it will take up a lot of spaces in the database.

I cannot use index since value does not start from
, and it might not be in order. I can write a search on this 2 dimensional array, but is there any easier way? Does anyone know the simplest way to solve this?


In situations like this, where you have a selection with a direct mapping from a database value to a display value, and you consistently want to use the display value for presentation, I use this approach:

In your model, declare an array with the mapping relationship:

class Person

  GENDER = [
    ["Male", "m"],
    ["Female", "f"]


In your edit view (the form), you can create the select using this approach:

<%= f.select :gender, Person::GENDER %>

In the show view, you can display using this format:

<%= Person::GENDER.find {|item| item[1] == @person.gender }[0] %>

This approach gives you the ability to control the display order of items in the select, and still be able to render the display value reasonably easily.