ModelForm modifies the Model instance before save is called
|Reported by:||Owned by:||nobody|
|Has patch:||no||Needs documentation:||no|
|Needs tests:||no||Patch needs improvement:||no|
So here is a use case that is relevant to me:
I need a model instance's primary key(pk) before I save the model, but only after the model form is validated. In particular I needed it to use in a pre_save method on a file field. So my logical solution was:
try: instance = CustomModel.objects.get(pk=pk) except CustomModel.DoesNotExist: instance = CustomModel() form = CustomModelForm(instance=instance, data=request.POST, files=request.FILES)) if form.is_valid(): if not instance.pk: instance.save() # saves the model while generating a pk instance = form.save()
To my disappointment, after a few wasted hours, I figured out that binding data to a model instance modifies that instance, so when I am calling instance.save() it already contains data from the form, before even calling form.save() method.
After finding this ticket: #14885 I also noticed that it may be a partial update of the model instance. Despite closed ticket I couldn't find it in current documentation.
In my opinion it is completely illogical. Model instance should only be modified only upon form.save() call, this would also give a real use case for the existence of commit=False argument: "apply cleaned form data to model instance, but do not commit to database."
Even documentation follows the logic I am proposing: "A subclass of ModelForm can accept an existing model instance as the keyword argument instance; if this is supplied, save() will update that instance"
Overall it sounds to me like a side effect or a bug. If it truly is an unavoidable side-effect, I believe, we should get at least a really good explanation of it in the documentation.