it seems basically i need to run a compact on the children, but how to
use compact on children?
Put them into an Array?
If they are in a Model, such as a product of has_many, they likely are already in an Array.
Post some Ruby code (not YAML!).
@scats = Scategory.find(:all, :conditions => ["mcategory_id = ?",
params[:id]], :include => :howtos)
howtos are the children....scategory has many howtos....
now scats is an array where the content is an array of howtos contents?
Next question: What is an "empty" howto? Can you add a :condition or similar to the has_many to exclude them at the database level? Or - even better - not store them?