Ensure that only one member of a collection has the "current" flag set

I have a model that includes a :current boolean. The idea is that there are many home pages that the admin is working on at any given time, but only one is current at a time. At the moment, I have enforced this with the following:

before_save :toggle_current

  def toggle_current
    if current?
      Home.where(["current = ? & id != ?", true, self.id]).each do |home|
        home.update_attribute(:current, false)
      end
    end
  end

Which works, but feels like a heavy solution to a simple problem. I could add a set of radio buttons to the index view and set it that way, but does anyone else have any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

Walter

you could use "update_all" rather than iterate a collection, which
would only fire one SQL query.

NICE! Arel collapsed the getting and setting to a single query: UPDATE "homes" SET "current" = 'f' WHERE (current = 't' & id != 3).

I think you may have this the wrong way round, instead of remembering
which one is current in the page put it in the admin model, then you
only need to change it there and not touch the pages at all.

Colin

I have a model that includes a :current boolean. The idea is that there are many home pages that the admin is working on at any given time, but only one is current at a time. At the moment, I have enforced this with the following:

I think you may have this the wrong way round, instead of remembering
which one is current in the page put it in the admin model, then you
only need to change it there and not touch the pages at all.

Admin is a subset of User, I was referring to him or her as a person, not a model. I am not sure why that model would be the place, though. I want to route /home to homes#default, where homes_controller#default looks like this:

  def default
    @home = Home.default
    render :action => 'show'
  end

and home#default looks like this:

  def self.default
    @default ||= Home.where(:current => true).first || Home.order('added_at DESC').first || Home.new
  end

This is all working, I was just looking for a way to make it more canonical.

Walter

I have a model that includes a :current boolean. The idea is that there are many home pages that the admin is working on at any given time, but only one is current at a time. At the moment, I have enforced this with the following:

I think you may have this the wrong way round, instead of remembering
which one is current in the page put it in the admin model, then you
only need to change it there and not touch the pages at all.

Admin is a subset of User, I was referring to him or her as a person, not a model. I am not sure why that model would be the place, though. I want to route /home to homes#default, where homes_controller#default looks like this:

Database design is nothing to do with routing. Get the database
design right and separately sort out what views you want and hence the
controllers and routing. You said that an admin (that is a User) at
any time has one current home page. You have gone for the solution of
remembering in the page record that it is, or is not, current, which
involves the problems you have found with making sure that only one is
current at any one time. Also there is redundant information in the
db, the fact that one of the records has its current flag set implies
that all the others are clear. In addition it is possible to have an
illegal condition in the database where more than one is marked as
current, these both suggest that there may be a better way of
organising the data. An alternative solution is to remember in the
User record which page is his current home page, which appears to me
be an easier solution and is much less prone to subtle programming
errors.

Colin

I have a model that includes a :current boolean. The idea is that there are many home pages that the admin is working on at any given time, but only one is current at a time. At the moment, I have enforced this with the following:

I think you may have this the wrong way round, instead of remembering
which one is current in the page put it in the admin model, then you
only need to change it there and not touch the pages at all.

Admin is a subset of User, I was referring to him or her as a person, not a model. I am not sure why that model would be the place, though. I want to route /home to homes#default, where homes_controller#default looks like this:

Database design is nothing to do with routing. Get the database
design right and separately sort out what views you want and hence the
controllers and routing. You said that an admin (that is a User) at
any time has one current home page. You have gone for the solution of
remembering in the page record that it is, or is not, current, which
involves the problems you have found with making sure that only one is
current at any one time. Also there is redundant information in the
db, the fact that one of the records has its current flag set implies
that all the others are clear. In addition it is possible to have an
illegal condition in the database where more than one is marked as
current, these both suggest that there may be a better way of
organising the data. An alternative solution is to remember in the
User record which page is his current home page, which appears to me
be an easier solution and is much less prone to subtle programming
errors.

Oh, I see what you were thinking. This is not the Admin's (personal) home page, it is the one and only home page for the entire public site. The admin is responsible for assembling this home page by choosing items to featured on it, but the home page that results (one of many that the admin may be working on for future use) is going to be shown to the world one at a time, by means of the current flag.

Does that change your mind about what I might want to do here?

Walter

I have a model that includes a :current boolean. The idea is that there are many home pages that the admin is working on at any given time, but only one is current at a time. At the moment, I have enforced this with the following:

I think you may have this the wrong way round, instead of remembering
which one is current in the page put it in the admin model, then you
only need to change it there and not touch the pages at all.

Admin is a subset of User, I was referring to him or her as a person, not a model. I am not sure why that model would be the place, though. I want to route /home to homes#default, where homes_controller#default looks like this:

Database design is nothing to do with routing. Get the database
design right and separately sort out what views you want and hence the
controllers and routing. You said that an admin (that is a User) at
any time has one current home page. You have gone for the solution of
remembering in the page record that it is, or is not, current, which
involves the problems you have found with making sure that only one is
current at any one time. Also there is redundant information in the
db, the fact that one of the records has its current flag set implies
that all the others are clear. In addition it is possible to have an
illegal condition in the database where more than one is marked as
current, these both suggest that there may be a better way of
organising the data. An alternative solution is to remember in the
User record which page is his current home page, which appears to me
be an easier solution and is much less prone to subtle programming
errors.

Oh, I see what you were thinking. This is not the Admin's (personal) home page, it is the one and only home page for the entire public site. The admin is responsible for assembling this home page by choosing items to featured on it, but the home page that results (one of many that the admin may be working on for future use) is going to be shown to the world one at a time, by means of the current flag.

Does that change your mind about what I might want to do here?

Yes, obviously, it can't go in the User record. I still would not put
it in the page however, if necessary put it in a separate table with a
single record with a single field (though I suspect you might find
other stuff to put there). The code will be simpler. You would not
have had to ask here how to do it for example. It is nearly always
best to use the simplest possible solution. Also the automated tests
will be much simpler.

Colin