eliminate has_many through redundancy???

I posted this to lighthouse and was advised to post here instead.

I think that has_many :through should create the :through association if it's not already declared.

Example:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base   has_many :memberships   has_many :groups, :through => :memberships end

Why do I need to declare :memberships twice? Shouldn't this suffice?

class User < ActiveRecord::Base   has_many :groups, :through => :memberships end

Even if the memberships association is more complex, this could be wrapped in a hash

class User < ActiveRecord::Base   has_many :groups, :through => {     :memberships, :dependent => :destroy   } end

In terms of expressiveness, I can see the value in declaring the join model explicitly if that join model has significance, but sometimes join models are only really useful on one side of the join, while on the other side it's just noise.

WDYT?

My thought is that this is a bit too far on the wrong side of 'as
simple as possible, but not simpler'. In the hash example, a casual reading might not catch what is
being :dependent => :destroy'd - Group objects or Membership objects.

Also note that you can has_many :through either a has_many or a
belongs_to, so your example would need to be:

class User < ActiveRecord::Base   has_many :groups, :through => {     :has_many => :memberships, :dependent => :destroy   } end

At which point it starts to look like a duplication of the original
code, only in a different format.

--Matt Jones