Oracle date problems, and how to make "alter session" work


Something change recently (Oracle upgrade and/or new gem) that’s
causing ActiveRecord to give me very unfriendly dates from Oracle.

I believe the old dates I was getting were “YYYY-MM-DD”. The ones I’m
getting now are like this:
Tue Dec 23 00:00:00 -0600 2008

Oddly enough, telling my ActiveRecord subclass to fetch “select to_char
(thedate,‘YYYY-MM-DD’) as thedate” is not working, as I’m still
receiving the very long date listed above.

I found reference to this somewhere online: ALTER SESSION SET

I have executed that in my app, but subsequent queries are still
returning the long date.


you could try putting the following in your environment.rb:

(:default => ‘%Y-%m-%d’)

Ok, I’ve done this, and it works for me mostly…

Now I have to figure out why to_xml() is changing the date format to
the big ugly version .

For example:

errs = Errors.find(:all, :conditions => “errtype = 2”)
=> [#<Errors blah blah blah, crtd: “2009-01-07 00:00:00” …]

errs.to_xml(:dasherize => false, :skip_types => true)
=> "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\"?>\n\n
\n Wed Jan 07 00:00:00 -0600 2009 …]

So my problem is in to_xml…

a guy in this thread had the same problem and obviously fixed it
(scroll down to the end).

Yeah, the specific post is Changing default date format in Rails - Rails - Ruby-Forum

Unfortunately that’s not working for me. I assume I should just be
able to do:

Hash::XML_FORMATTING[‘datetime’] = { |datetime|
datetime.to_s(:rfc822) }

I’m still getting the long date in the XML output. I wonder where
it’s getting that?

I would love to look through the code that’s producing the XML, but
thus far I cannot figure out where it lives…

i honestly don’t know. but still i’m eager to learn. here is something
i found on google:

let me know when you’ve found a solution to that problem.

I’ve found the place where my date/time/datetime is being formatted (I
think); however, changing the format isn’t having any effect on

line 48

I’ve tried changing at runtime via the method listed in previous
message, and I’ve also tried just modifying conversions.rb as a test.
Neither change had any effect on to_xml(). to_xml() insists on making
my dates look like Tue Dec 23 00:00:00 -0600 2008

Any clues now?

So if I do this:

class Errors < ActiveRecord::Base
def crtd_x


errs = Errors.find(:all, :conditions => …)

errs.to_xml(:methods => [:crtd_x, …])

It fails with a NoMethodError: You have a nil object when you didn’t
expect it!
The error occurred while evaluating nil.strftime

If I understand correctly, Errors (a subclass of ActiveRecord::Base)
contains a list of rows, each of which would have a field called
“crtd”. But at the level I’m calling to_xml, there is no field
“crtd”. What I need for my custom function is something like this

def crtd_x

I think I’m close. Please advise how I can make crtd_x() operate on
the current item in the collection rather than on the whole

Thanks much,