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Learning Rails: Live Edition by Edd Dumbill, Simon St. Laurent

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Dates and Times

Rails also provides support for basic date and time entry, as was shown in the form generated by the scaffolding. The scaffolding started out with:

<p>
    <b>Birthday</b><br />
    <%= f.date_select :birthday %>
  </p>

  <p>
    <b>Favorite time</b><br />
    <%= f.datetime_select :favorite_time %>
  </p>

And these generated the neat-looking but very inconvenient selection lists shown in Figure 6-5.

Rails default approach of using selection lists for dates and times

Figure 6-5. Rails default approach of using selection lists for dates and times

Besides the date_select and datetime_select methods, Rails also offers time_select and has a variety of helper methods for individual pieces of dates and times. Rails offers some options that can make these interfaces more customizable, but picking days off a 31-item selection list or minutes off a 60-item list is pretty much always going to be a less-than-fun user experience. You’ll probably want to turn to more attractive date and time interfaces from Ajax libraries or revert to simple text boxes, but in case you have an application where you want to use these methods, the options for them include:

:start_year

By default, Rails sets the start year to five years before the current date. You can specify an earlier (or later) date if you need to, by specifying :start_year => value.

:end_year

Rails also sets the end year to five years after the current date. Again, you can specify a later (or earlier) date by specifying ...

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