Models don't like NOT NULL DEFAULT "" columns

Hey all,

I’m new to rails so forgive me if I’m missing something obvious.

I’ve got a few tables with a bunch of columns declared like so:

NOT NULL DEFAULT “”

When I create an instance of one of the models and try to save it
ActiveRecord chokes because it tries to insert nulls for any
undefined attributes.

Is there an easy way to override this behavior? Not so easy way? :-/

Thanks in advance!
Tim

NOT NULL DEFAULT “” is bad design. If you want to allow empty strings,
then don’t set them to not null. If you want them to be actual values
(like current_timestamp, an ID, etc.) then set them to not null.

Joe

Joe wrote:

If you want to allow empty strings,
then don’t set them to not null.

Er, ignore that sentence. What I meant is that it’s better to store null
(which means unknown) values rather than just empty strings.

Joe

Although in MySQL Query Browser in Windows, the program likes to set NOT
NULL text columns to have a default value of “”. It doesn’t really seem
to make sense to make a column NOT NULL and then make the default value
NULL.

On the other hand, I have never had this particular problem with Rails.
In fact, I have trouble with ActiveRecord writing “” for blank form
fields, in which case I have to set them to nil manually.

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