RESTful messaging. Trying to put it together and it feels unclean.

Hi all,

I'm putting together a quick little app just to do some messaging
between users. I'm trying to do it restfully but what I have feels kind
of unclean.

Here's what I have:

        User has_many :messages
        Message belongs_to :user ; belongs_to :msgcontent
        Msgcontent has_many :messages
Message is a join model between User and Msgcontent. In addition to
containing references to User and Msgcontent, it also has a "status"
field indicating whether a given user has read or deleted the message.
This is the only reason for the join model. It saves having to have the
same content for a message replicated multiple times in the database.


The UsersController and SessionsController come from the
restful_authentication plugin. Note that there is _no_

The intent is to have the following urls, but it feels dirty since it's
mixing the Message and Msgcontent models together in the
MessagesController. It does leave the url space fairly clean.

      * GET /messages # retrieves messages & msgcontent for current
      * POST /messages # creates single msgcontent and a message for
        each recipient
      * GET /messages/1 # retrieves message 1 and related msgcontent
      * PUT /messages/1 # updates the status of message 1 (read/unread
      * DELETE /messages/1 # deletes message 1 and if no more references
        to related msgcontent, removes that as well.
      * GET /messages/new # form containing info for _msgcontent_
      * GET /messages/1/edit # possible form for _message_ to update

I'm looking for alternate ways to solve this type of solution. Or is
this how it would be done?

Hi Kad,

> Here's what I have:
> Models:
> User has_many :messages
> Message belongs_to :user ; belongs_to :msgcontent
> Msgcontent has_many :messages

Hi Rick I am currentlt trying to solve the same problem in my app...
I don't understand your model... I believe the msg content is part of
your message (as the subject)
you should also have senders and receivers ?...

The goal was to have only a single copy of a message and have multiple
recipients have pointers to that single message. In this case the
single message would be Msgcontent and the reference to the message
would be Message.

I'm thinking this may be a premature optomization on my part. As long
as the messages are small, each recipient can have a copy of it. It
simplifies the models and controllers (basically the structure you
outlined in your message).

Thanks for the reality check. :slight_smile:

presently my pending problem is how to write a route to send a
to a specific user (from 5 to 25 for example)..

something like users/5/messages/25;send
in this case I get the correct parameters, but also an error... I
should add a member in the routes ?

You should just be able to do a POST to /users/25/messages (assuming
you're doing some sort of authentication and have a current_user object)
and this would create a new message for User 25 (with the sender being
the current_user)