aux codes inspired by Walter Turner
A good way to get started might be to checkout the screencasts
For the ActiveRecord version:
$ sudo gem install aux_codes
For the DataMapper version:
$ sudo gem install dm-aux_codes
Way back when, when I was learning database development, a mentor of mine showed me a technique that he liked to use to consolidate similar enum-esque database tables.
Often, applications have enum-esque tables that merely store simply key / value pairs,
typically a unique ID and a string. Take for instance, a
[ genders ] [id] [name] 1 Male 2 Female
That's a bit of a waste of a table, especially if your application has TONS of tables just like this. There's where aux codes (or auxilary codes) come in!
[ aux_codes ] [id] [category_id] [name] 1 0 Genders <--- this defines a 'table' (because category_id = 0) 2 1 Male <--- these are under category_id 1 (Genders) 3 1 Female 4 0 Colors <--- defines a color 'table' 5 4 Red <--- category_id 4 = 'Colors', so this is a color 6 4 Blue
Now, this is great, but this might get in the way of our business logic or it might dirty up our code. We don't want to always be using the AuxCode object with complex queries ... we probable want a Gender object that behaves just like it would with a full-blown genders table.
Gender = AuxCode.category('Gender').aux_code_class # the Gender class is a full-blown ActiveRecord class # that should behave as if there's actually a `genders` table! Gender.find_by_name 'Male' Gender.find_or_create_by_name 'Female' Gender.create :name => 'Female' male = Gender.new :name => 'Male' male.save Gender.find :conditions => ['name = ?', 'Male'] Gender.count Gender.codes Gender.code_names Gender.aux_code Gender.aux_codes
If you want to create all of these classes at once, as constants:
You can also access codes with a Hash-like syntax
AuxCode['Genders']['Male'] AuxCode[:Genders][:Female] Gender[:Male]
Or with an Indifferent Hash-like syntax
AuxCode.genders['Male'] AuxCode.genders[:Male] AuxCode.genders.male Gender.male # these all return the same result Breed.find_by_name 'Golden Retriever' Breed['Golden Retriever'] Breed[:golden_retriever] Breed.golden_retriever AuxCodes.breeds.golden_retriever
Read the spec to see other usage examples
- make a spec specifically for showing off the different API features quickly and easily
- convert this README to RDoc
- make table name and column names configurable (but with strong defaults)
- staticly typed fields?
- fix bug discovered while screencasting ... Gender.male returned the female code (because it includes 'male')