Creating a Universal Controller - Here's an example for anyone.

I'm sure there are some solid ideas out there for designing universal
controllers, but I wanted to share my design which seems to work well.
I'll post all the code on for reading.

Here is the code:

=> example_controller.rb

I call a set_tables before filter to supply what tables are valid with
the controller. If you have 12 different tables/models that will use
the default actions of this controller, you can list the tables in the
@tables array.

The default index action is fairly simple as well. The action first
checks to see if the database table is part of the valid @tables array,
and if not, it redirects the user to the root of the site and posts a
simple notice. Otherwise, if valid, it will begin to assign the data to
the @data instance variable.

The @data instance variable structures how the model will be referenced
by taking the params (as an example let's say you pass 'example_model'.
The structure of the line would look like this:


The list_data method is built in your model.

Once the data is assigned, the index view just renders @partial which is
equal to the table_index parameter. So, in this example, it will look
for _example_model.html.erb. This allows you to setup partials to
represent the index action for each table.

Lastly, the routes.rb file will basically setup a default match for: where :table_index becomes
the parameter passed to your controller.

So, in our example, the url will look like:

which you can assign to any link_to using

Pretty simple and fairly clean.