I spent most of the afternoon tracking down a nasty bug that ended up being in the Ruby Rack middlewear and thought I’d post a fix here in case there are any Rails developers out there who read my blog. In short, a call to .params on a Rack::Request object will fail with an uncaught exception whenever @env["rack.request.form_input"].eql and @env["rack.input"] are both nil. This causes request.POST to return nil (line 137 of request.rb), which then causes line 160 of request.rb to throw an exception:

 160 self.put? ? self.GET : self.GET.update(self.POST)

I wouldn’t be surprised if this bug is already fixed in the latest git repository, but I wanted to post the fix here in case you are on a host where you are frozen at Rack 1.0 and can’t update to the lastest. Basically, instead of using request.params to access the union of GET and POST params, use the following method:

 def extract_params(req)
   if req.put?
     return req.GET
   else
     (req.GET || {}).update(req.POST || {})
   end
   rescue EOFError => e
     req.GET
 end

That implements the code a bit more safely and will return an empty hash instead of nil. Don’t hate me for using Ruby’s notorious (possibly_nil_var || backup_var) syntax. Now to finally finish the real work I was trying to get done….I guess the good news is I learned how to use ruby-debug. I was using Rack::Request to extract the useful data out of the env variable that is presented with the rack request. In certain circumstances, the