Using a variable to invoke a custom method within autocomple

I’m implementing a version of the autocompletion script found at
autocomplete-with-belongs_to-fields and have run into a stumbling

The issue involves passing in a variable to indicate which custom
method should be invoked. I have an ugly workaround (a duplicate
function hardcoded to use the custom method), but would like to learn
a better way to handle this case. It feels like I’m missing something
simple, but I’ll be damned if I can see it.

from: app/helpers/application_helper.rb

def indexed_auto_complete_result(entries, entityType, field, index)
return unless entries
items = { |entry| content_tag(“li”, entry[field], “id”
=> entityType+‘::’+entry[index].to_s) }
content_tag(“ul”, items.uniq)

This works fine for referencing model attributes which exist in the
“Highlights” table (name, description, etc.) but fails if ‘field’ is
passed in as “name_with_place”. The unordered list is created, but
it’s full of empty

  • tags. If I change it to use entry.field I get
    NoMethodError (undefined method ‘field’) errors in the log.

    My eventual workaround was to add this function for those times I need
    to access the name_with_place method. This works as desired, and
    properly invokes the custom name_with_place method. It’s clearly not
    DRY, though.

    def indexed_auto_complete_result_with_place(entries, entityType,
    field, index)
    return unless entries
    items = { |entry| content_tag(“li”,
    entry.name_with_place, “id” => entityType+‘::’+entry[index].to_s)}
    content_tag(“ul”, items.uniq)

    from: app/models/highlight.rb

    belongs_to :place

    def name_with_place
    “#{} (#{})”

    from: app/controllers/highlights_controller.rb

    def auto_complete_for_highlight_internal_name
    find_options = {
    :conditions => [ “LOWER(name) LIKE ?”, ‘%’ +params[:highlight]
    [:internal_name].downcase + ‘%’ ],
    :order => “name ASC”,
    :limit => 10
    @highlights = Highlight.find(:all,find_options)
    render :inline => “<%= indexed_auto_complete_result @highlights,
    ‘highlight_id’, ‘name_with_place’, ‘id’ %>”

    from: public/javascripts/application.js

    function auto_complete_on_select(element, selectedElement)
    var entityParts =‘::’);
    var entityType = entityParts[0];
    var entityId = entityParts[1];
    document.getElementById(entityType).value = entityId;

    from: app/views/highlights/index.rhtml

    <% form_tag(‘/highlights/edit’, :method => :post) do %>
    <%= text_field_with_auto_complete :highlight, :internal_name, { :size
    => 40 }, { :after_update_element =>
    ‘auto_complete_and_redirect_on_select’ } %>
    <%= hidden_field ‘highlight’, ‘id’ %>
    <%= submit_tag(“Edit”) %>
    <% end -%>

  • Not sure if this is what you want, but object.send(function_name) will
    do the trick for cases like that. Just be careful since I think .send
    will execute any function, public or private.

    That works great for the dropdown. I’ll take a look at .send and the
    potential for executing any object method, which might make this
    approach a nonstarter.

    Thanks, Jon