Reading Hash/Array

Hi all,

My app is generating a form with several bill_items that should be
updated (fields to be updated are description and net).

The text_field_tag names are bill_item[update][#{id}][description] and
bill_item[update][#{id}][net] (and I added bill_item[update][#{id}]
[id] just in case)

The param received is:

{"commit"=>"Save",
"authenticity_token"=>"6184e60b9928fadecbdf3713ffcf770a2402c8c2",
"bill_item"=>{"update"=>{"1"=>{"id"=>"1",
                                               "description"=>"Daily
monitoring",
                                               "net"=>"1:00"},
                                      "2"=>{"id"=>"2",

"description"=>"Development",
                                               "net"=>"3:00"}
                                     }
                    },
"id"=>"1"}

How can I read/process this data?

I am trying to do something like

params[:bill_item][:update].each do |item|
  bill_item = BillItem.find(item[id])
  bill_item.description = item[description]
  bill_item.net = item[net]
  bill_item.save
end

but of course the access to the hash is not correct.

I know that item[id] is not correct, thats why I said that the access
to the hash is incorrect (I should have been more specific), it was
just to give you and idea of what I wanted.

If I try to item["id"] rails tells me "can't convert String into
Integer".

And if I try to use item["id"].to_i, the error reported remains the
same.

def update_data
    unless params[:bill_item].nil? || params[:bill_item][:update].nil?
      params[:bill_item][:update].each do |item|
        bill_item = BillItem.find(item["id"].to_i)
        bill_item.description = item["description"]
        bill_item.net = item["net"]
        bill_item.save
      end
      flash.now[:notice] = 'Item(s) updated'
    else
      flash.now[:warning] = 'No data received'
    end
  end

Error:
can't convert String into Integer

Trace:
app/controllers/billing_controller.rb:101:in `[]'
app/controllers/billing_controller.rb:101:in `update_data'
app/controllers/billing_controller.rb:100:in `each'
app/controllers/billing_controller.rb:100:in `update_data'
app/controllers/billing_controller.rb:63:in `update_items'
C:/ruby/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/actionpack-2.0.1/lib/action_controller/
base.rb:1168:in `send'
(...)

Parameters:
{"commit"=>"Save",
"authenticity_token"=>"6184e60b9928fadecbdf3713ffcf770a2402c8c2",
"bill_item"=>{
   "update"=>{
     "1"=>{
       "id"=>"1",
       "description"=>"Daily monitoring",
       "net"=>"1:00"},
     "2"=>{
       "id"=>"2",
       "description"=>"Development",
       "net"=>"3:00"}
     }
},
"id"=>"1"}

Yes, 101 is the find.

If I try to use item = item.to_hash inside the do block, I get:

undefined method `to_hash' for #<Array:0x364a0e8>

This tells me that it is an array. But why the hell I'm not being able
to access its values? not even with item[1], item[2] etc.

How can I add something like debug(item) to the log so that I can see
it's structure?

Thanks for all the help Ryan.

Fixed it.

I used item[0], item[1] and item[2] to access the array. But when I
did this, I noticed that the description (= item[1]) was receiving: !
map:HashWithIndifferentAccess (...) so actualy item[1] was returning a
hash instead of the description. Then I understood how rails was
(correctly) interpreting the whole params[:bill_item].
[:update] was an array, with the key being the id of the field, and
the value being the hash with the params that I sent (id, description,
net)

So this is the correct/working code:

params[:bill_item][:update].each do |key, value|
        bill_item = BillItem.find(key.to_i)
        bill_item.description = value[:description]
        bill_item.net = value[:net]
        bill_item.save
end

Again, thanks for your help Ryan!