I have a question about how best to model a pair of properties/attributes in Rails3. The generic "models" are:
class Foo < ActiveRecord::Base
class Bar < ActiveRecord::Base
I want Foo to have two associations with Bar, along the lines of 'has_one' for each association, where I can work with each, as in bar1 and bar2. 'has_many' would work, but it would be extra work to have to fish the correct one out of the array, and isn't as elegant a way to model the relationships.
I suppose that it could be done with a has_one relationship repeated as such
class Foo < AR::B
belongs_to :bar1, class_name => "Bar", :foreign_key => "bar1_id"
belongs_to :bar2, class_name => "Bar", :foreign_key => "bar2_id"
Mind you this is not a very elegant way of doing it, but it is adhering to KiSS principles.
On the Bar end of things, how should the relationship play out? Should it only be able to be associated to one Foo?
Also are do bar 1 and bar 2 behave differently or have any characteristic that distinguish them. In other words, are all bar1's always going to be bar1's? if so you can do a normal has many relationship with a limit of 2 children and then scopes on the bar model to make up the difference.
On the Bar end, it would only be associated with the one Foo, yes.
You could go the STI route and give each bar its own sub class
class Bar < AR::B
class BarOne < Bar
class BarTwo < Bar
and add the attribute type to Bar
then your Foo class could be
class Foo < AR::B
has_one :bar_one, :dependant => :destroy
has_one :bar_two, :dependant => :destroy
with attributes of
the :dependant => :destroy will allow the two bars to be destroyed when the foo is destroyed.
While a little more work than my original suggestion this will be far more elegant as you can easily deploy more bars if needed. Also it is technically more correct as it would seem that 2 bars really belongs to one foo as deleting the foo should delete the bars, whereas the other way would make the Bars the parents of the Foo.