Losing sanity, please help!

OK, I'm still trying to move a pic between albums, but this time I'm
going totally ballistic. Please see the debugger session below. The
model is simple, class Pic acts_as_list and belongs_to :album.

Can someone please please please explain to me why @old_alb changes
its value after line 73 ?

######### debugger session:

[64, 73] in ./script/../config/../app/controllers/pic_controller.rb
   64 redirect_to :action=>:list and return
   65 end
   66 Debugger.start
   67 debugger
=> 69 @old_alb=@pic.album
   70 if @pic.update_attributes(params[:pic])
   71 @pic.set_tags @params[:tags]
   72 @pic.album =Album.find(params[:album][:id])
   73 @pic.save
(rdb:90) n
./script/../config/../app/controllers/pic_controller.rb:70 if
(rdb:90) p @old_alb.id
(rdb:90) n
@pic.set_tags @params[:tags]
(rdb:90) n
./script/../config/../app/controllers/pic_controller.rb:72 @pic.album
(rdb:90) n
./script/../config/../app/controllers/pic_controller.rb:73 @pic.save
(rdb:90) n
./script/../config/../app/controllers/pic_controller.rb:74 if
@old_alb != @pic.album
(rdb:90) p @old_alb.id
######### end debugging session

sleepless somewhere.

Variables in Ruby are just references to an Object.
So if you do
a = b
and change b, you change the object b refers to. As a refers tothe
same object, the value of a will change too.

Solution *should* be (just looked this up, didn't try and never had
this problem myself before):

a = b.dup

Thanks for your suggestion, but it doesn't seem true to me, in a
simple case below all works as expected:

foo=Album.find 1

=> #<Album:0xb7186638 @attributes={"created_on"=>"2007-04-25
03:28:30", "name"=>"top album", "text"=>nil, "id"=>"1",
"user_id"=>"1", "parent_id"=>nil}>


=> #<Album:0xb7186638 @attributes={"created_on"=>"2007-04-25
03:28:30", "name"=>"top album", "text"=>nil, "id"=>"1",
"user_id"=>"1", "parent_id"=>nil}>

foo=Album.find 2

=> #<Album:0xb717b92c @attributes={"created_on"=>"2007-04-25
03:45:25", "name"=>"п©я─п╬п╡п╣я─п╨п╟", "text"=>"п╡п╬я┌ я┌п╟п╨",
"id"=>"2", "user_id"=>"1", "parent_id"=>"1"}>


=> false

So why might it work otherwise in my app?


Your example is different from your real problem:

your problem:

1) A = Something
2) B = A
3) You CHANGE the OBJECT that A refers to.
A -----
          \ _ Object (If you change B.album, the Object here is
changed, and as A points to the same Object in memory, it has
"changed" to
B -----

4) As B points to the same object, B has "changed" too (or the object
it refers to, accuratly spoken)

In your example that you just posted, however, you do something

1) foo = Something
2)bar = foo
3) You set A to point to a NEW, DIFFERENT OBJECT (namely the one
created by "Album.find 2" )
foo -------
             \ _ Object (now you don't change the Object, but you
create a new one, and make foo point to it)
bar -------


foo -------> new Object

bar -------> old Object

4) bar points to the object created in 1) , foo points to the Object
created in 3)

See the difference in 3) ? in your real problem, you change the OBJECT
that both variables point to.
in your second example, you make "foo" POINT to a different, freshly
created Object.

just give the .dup method a try. and don't be bothered by my usage of
Caps, i just tried to emphasise the crucial differences :wink:

Thorsten, you're DA MAN! My sanity is restored, thanks!