Handling nil attributes in views


The problem at hand is how to handle missing (but not required) refs to
other objects when working in a view (that was not clear - gimme a
minute:-). There has been some discussion of this on the wiki, but I was
wondering what others thought about handling this.

I have class A that belongs_to class B, and I want to display an
attribute of B in the view, so I do something like the following:

<%= A.B.b_attr || “Value not available” %>

B is an optional attribute, i.e., it is not required to be set, so this
throws an exception under those circumstances.

Option 1:

<%= A.B.b_attr rescue “Value not available” %>

Option 2:

Define the reader for B_attr

alias old_b_attr b_attr
def b_attr
if self.b_attr_id.nil?
B.new # essentially, create a new empty version

BTW, I’m using the alias method because read_attribute does not work
(afaik) with fkey relationships.

Both of these methods work, but still don’t quite feel “right”. Any