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Naming issues

This document lists issues encountered with the current naming scheme. Inconsistencies, vagueness and general impropriety.

Models and Libraries

We're mixing up a lot of models and libraries in app/models, moving the non-datamapper models to lib would be a good idea.

Incosistencies in naming methods

Some inconsistently named methods in models/modules:

  • app/models/reports/branch.rb #client_count #active_client_count #dormant_client_count #borrower_clients_count <= plural used here

Consistent id columns

We're not being terribly consistent with association naming when we use non-standard indexes, specifically when associating staff members a managers or updated_by type associations. If we want to make clear the difference between changes made by managers, staff-members or users the association should reflect this as well as the id column naming. (e.g either created_by_user and created_by_user_id OR created_by and created_by_id, not a combination.)

Considering we often use many of these methods on models I recommend we go with the "full" naming, (e.g. created_by_user, validated_by_staff_member) to avoid confusion as to what model we're referring to.

I recommend we stick to 'standard' association naming and using :child_key options as little as possible.

Some examples listed below (a simple grep will show all). In some cases the naming is ok but use of :child_key is superfluous.

  • "Good" uses: AuditItem belongs_to :assigned_to, :model => StaffMember

  • "Bad" uses: AccountBalance belongs_to :verified_by, :child_key => [:verified_by_user_id], :model => 'User' Accrual belongs_to :created_by, :child_key => [:created_by_user_id] ApplicableFee belongs_to :waived_off_by, 'StaffMember', :child_key => [:waived_off_by_id] AssetRegister belongs_to :manager, :child_key => [:manager_staff_id], :model => 'StaffMember' AssetRegister belongs_to :branch, :child_key => [:branch_id], :model => 'Branch'

Of course this would be a huge pita to fix.


There are also many cases of models being approved, disbursed, deleted, etc. on certain dates. Let's set up a consistent naming scheme for these attributes. The Loan model for example has these date attributes:

  • scheduled_disbursal_date
  • scheduled_first_payment_date
  • applied_on
  • approved_on
  • rejected_on
  • disbursal_date
  • written_off_on
  • suggested_written_off_on
  • write_off_rejected_on
  • validated_on
  • preclosed_on

As you can see the naming varies between _on and _date. I would recommend sticking with _on for dates and _at for times both because it's the de-facto standard and because most existing attributes already comply.

Hand-made associations

There are several places where we have 'polymorphic' associations, for example in AuditItem:

property :audited_model, String
property :audited_id, Integer

def object

or in ApplicableFee:

property :applicable_id,   Integer, :index => true, :nullable => false
property :applicable_type, Enum.send('[]', *FeeApplicableTypes), :index => true, :nullable => false

def parent

As there is no standard for polymorphic associations in DM, we should at least set some rules to name these associations consistently. Or we could look at dm-is-remixable which seems to fill a similar role.

Other models with similar associations:

  • AuditTrail
  • Comment
  • Document


Not so much a naming issue, but in a number of places we use :nullable => false, which was deprecated in DM 0.10.2 in favor of :required => true

We also have a bunch of places where :nullable => false is set and later validates_presence.


We have a large number of constants in config/constants.rb ripe for renaming. I don't think we need examples here as they are quite obvious, but Types and Methods (used only in the Bookmark model) for starters.

Outdated views

Not strictly a naming issue but we've got a bunch of cruft littering our views, namely: