wants to get all parents with no children, etc

To all:

hi,

i have implemented the associations in my models

so i have a Parent model that has many Children model

but i need to get a list of Parents that do not have children
or
Parents that have just 2 children

or Parents that have children whose name is 'James', or 'Sarah', or
'Betty'

or Parents whose children do not have names like 'James', or 'Sarah',
or 'Betty'

I find it near impossible to use activerecord and the various find
methods.

Maybe I overlook something.

Please advise

Thank you.

You're right that activerecord won't help you much with this sort of stuff - you will be writing out a bunch of joins yourself (with the exception of 'parents with 2 children': you can use a counter_cache, at which point it becomes trivial).
To get all parents with no children, you need to be generating sql of the form

select parents.* from parents
left outer join children on children.parent_id = parents.id
where children.id IS NULL

if you want parents whose children match some condition

select parents.* from parents
inner join children on children.parent_id = parents.id
where <some conditions on children>

if you want parents with no children matching some condition

select parents.* from parents
left outer join children on children.parent_id = parents.id AND <some conditions on children>
where children.id IS NULL

You can tell activerecord what joins to apply with the :joins option

Fred