I want to override a get method to try to get a value from an associated object first, and then get the object's own value if the associated object returned nil. But, this requires me to avoid calling a get method from inside the same get method.
To be specific: there are two classes, School and RegisteredInfo. Normally, the RegisteredInfo class holds the official data for a school - address, postcode, phone number etc, and in most cases a school has_one registered info. So, if i want to get the address for a school, i normally pull it out of the associated RegisteredInfo object:
address = @school.registered_info.address
However, a school might not always have a registered info, and so has its own address field for this purpose. So, i want to make the address method as follows:
def address if self.registered_info return self.registered_info.address else return self.address end end
However, this sets up a circular loop, where the method will keep calling itself. I'm sure that i've used a private/protected method called something like "read_attribute" that pulled the value out of the database without calling the get method again. However, i can't find it in the api (i'm using rails 2.0.2).
Can anyone help, or provide a nicer alternative to this problem?