Setter that converts a float attribute to integer



I have some problems with an application where I’m using custom
accessors to do currency conversions. In my model, I have a price
attribute in the database that stores the value in cents, to avoid
future problems with float arithmetic and round. But at the views, I
would like to show the price in euros, with decimal for the cents. So
I defined a new attribute called price_in_euros, and the corresponding

class Report < ActiveRecord::Base
validates_numericality_of :price, :only_integer => true

   attr_accessor :price_in_euros

   def price_in_euros
           if self.price
                   self.price / 100.0
                   # default price is 1 euro

   def price_in_euros=(euros)
           self.price = (euros * 100).to_i


If I test this model with the rails console, all is working fine:

$ script/console
Loading development environment.

r =
=> #<Report:0xb74a53c0 @new_record=true, @attributes={“precio”=>nil}>

r.price_in_euros = 2.45
=> 2.45
=> true

=> #<Report:0xb74a53c0 @new_record_before_save=true,
@new_record=false, @errors=#<ActiveRecord::Errors:0xb7813264
@errors={}, @base=#<Report:0xb74a53c0 …>>, @attributes={“id”=>20,

The attribute “price” has been set to 245 cents. Ok, let’s check the

mysql> select id, price from reports;
| id | price |
| 20 | 245 |
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

It seems that all is ok. Well, let’s prepare a controller with a
couple of actions, insert and edit:

class ReportController < ApplicationController
def insert
@report =[:report])
if and
redirect_to :action => ‘list’

   def edit
           @report = Report.find(params[:id])
           @report.attributes = params[:report]
           if and
                   redirect_to :action => 'list'


Here is part of the view for the insert action:

<% form_for :report, :url => { :action => ‘insert’ } do |form| %>
Price: <%= form.text_field :price_in_euros -%>
<%= submit_tag ‘Insert’ -%>

Here is part of the view for the edit action:

<% form_for :report, :url => { :action => ‘edit’ } do |form| %>
Price: <%= form.text_field :price_in_euros -%>
<%= submit_tag ‘Save’ -%>

Ok. Now I use that views to insert a couple of new reports, giving a
value of 2.45 for the first one and 1 for the second one. Here is what
it appears at the database:

mysql> select id,price from reports;
| id | price |
| 24 | 2 |
| 25 | 2147483647 |
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

Ouch! That’s really strange.

And if I try to edit them, I can see a value of 0.02 on the price
field for the first one, and 21474836.47 for the second one (the price
at the database divided by 100), so the getter accesor seems to be
working well, but not the setter. If I click ‘Save’ on the edit form,
I then get:

mysql> select id,price from reports;
| id | price |
| 24 | 0 |
| 25 | 21474836 |
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

What in the hell I’m doing bad? Thanks in advance.

Carlos P.


to see why this is happening you have to know that the data you are
submitting from the form is text, so Ruby/Rails is going to see it as a

irb example

irb(main):008:0> (“2.45”*100).to_i
=> 2
irb(main):009:0> (“1”*100).to_i

now, if we convert the strings to floats first

irb(main):011:0> (“2.45”.to_f100.0).to_i
=> 245
irb(main):012:0> (“1”.to_f
=> 100

then you will see the data as you expect it to be. your tests worked
because you used floats/ints, not strings.

so change your method to:

def price_in_euros=(euros)
self.price = (euros.to_f * 100.0).to_i

and give it another go.