Model Accessor Question

Hi guys,

I have a table, "calendar_items", which has a date/time column named "reminder". What I want to do is have the user select "x minutes before start" on the form which calculates the reminder date/time field from the start date/time. I figured the best way for this to happen is to have an "attr_accessor :reminder_select" which is the string/select on the form and then in the model, calculate the reminder field before saving the record. Only problem is, it doesn't work!

Can anyone see where I've gone wrong? My guess is that when Rails attempts to take the form data and save it to the model, it's calling the "reminder_select" method again, which resets the variable (to "none") instead of using the form data.

Thanks in advance, here's the code:

Start: <%= datetime_select 'calendar_item', 'date_time', {:order => [:day, :month, :year], :start_year =>, :minute_step =>
Reminder: <%= select(:calendar_item, :reminder_select, %w{ none 5\ minutes 15\ minutes 30\ minutes 1\ hour 2\ hours 6\ hours 12\ hours 1\ day 2\ days 7\ days 14\ days }) %>

CONTROLLER: (uses the generated methods for edit/update)


class CalendarItem < ActiveRecord::Base
   attr_accessor :reminder_select

   before_save :calculate_reminder

   def reminder_select
     return "none" if !self.date_time or !self.reminder

     difference = self.date_time - self.reminder
     if difference > 0 and difference < 1.hour
       return difference.minutes.to_s + " minutes"
     elsif difference > 0 and difference <
       val = (difference / 60 / 60).to_i
       if val > 1
         val = val.to_s + " hours"
         val = val.to_s + " hour"
       return val
     elsif difference > 0
       val = (difference / 60 / 60 / 24).to_i
       if val > 1
         val = val.to_s + " days"
         val = val.to_s + " day"
       return val
       return "none"


   def calculate_reminder
     if self.reminder_select == "none"
       self.reminder = nil

     words = self.reminder_select.split(" ")
     if words[1][0..5] == "minute"
       self.reminder = self.date_time - (words[0].to_i).minutes
     elsif words[1][0..3] == "hour"
       self.reminder = self.date_time - (words[0].to_i).hours
     elsif words[1][0..2] == "day"
       self.reminder = self.date_time - (words[0].to_i).days


Fixed it. In case anyone needs this in the future, I fixed it with:

- return "none" if !self.date_time or !self.reminder
+ return read_attribute('reminder_select') if !self.date_time or !self.reminder

and then moved the calculate_reminder method out of protected.