Has_and_belongs_to_many question

Hello,

I’m new to Ruby/Rails and going through ‘Beginning Rails 4’. In chapter
6
it has me create a join table for an articles and categories table
(articles_categories). In the migrate file I’ve entered this code from
the
book:

class CreateArticlesCategories < ActiveRecord::Migration
def change
create_table :articles_categories, :id=> false do |t|
t.references :article
t.references :category
end
end
def self.down
drop_table :articles_categories
end
end

My issue is that after I migrate this file, when I try to make an
association between the article and category object (article.categories
<<
category) it spits an error that article_id does not exist in
articles_categories table. It makes sense to me since the references
above
do no have _id appended in the class. If I change the class to the
following, creating the relationship between article and category works
fine:

class CreateArticlesCategories < ActiveRecord::Migration
def change
create_table :articles_categories, :id=> false do |t|
t.integer :article_id
t.integer :category_id
end
end
def self.down
drop_table :articles_categories
end
end

My question is, how can I get the ‘t.references’ format to work so that
AR
looks for an ‘articles’ and ‘categories’ column, instead of the same
with
_id appended?

Thanks

On 1/24/14, 11:25 AM, Martin Sloan wrote:

      t.references :article

association between the article and category object
t.integer :category_id
the same with _id appended?
You need to use has_many :through when working with join tables, not
has_and_belongs_to_many. The :through parameter specifies the join
table.

See this section of the Rails guide:
http://guides.rubyonrails.org/association_basics.html#the-has-many-through-association

On Friday, January 24, 2014 7:25:02 PM UTC+1, Martin Sloan wrote:

Hello,

My issue is that after I migrate this file, when I try to make an association
between the article and category object (article.categories << category) it spits
an error that article_id does not exist in articles_categories table. It makes
sense to me since the references above do no have _id appended in the class. If I
change the class to the following, creating the relationship between article and
category works fine:

That should work - t.references should add the _id to the column name
for you. What columns did this add? Are you sure you didn’t run the
migration before you had finished editing it?

Fred

Fred,

You made me think I might have run the migration prematurely. So far,
all
examples in the book have worked perfectly (I can’t say that for many
books!) so it might be a layer 8 issue… I don’t remember running it
before I updated the migration file, but it’s possible. If the
t.references should work, I’m happy to know that at least. I’ll go back
and run through another test to see if it gets the same results.

Thanks

On Jan 25, 2014, at 11:45 PM, Martin Sloan wrote:

Blaine,

Thanks for the post. The book I’m reading followed up the basic join example
(many-to-many) with a ‘rich’ join (has_many :through). From what I understand
there’s a scenario for both and they’re similar but there are differences. In the
book’s example the articles and categories tables are ‘meeting up’ at the
articles_categories table and not ‘going through’ to reference another table.

HABTM joins are used for “dumb” joins, where you want a two-way
relationship between two tables that does not carry any further
information about its connection. Most real-world connections aren’t
that dumb, and so the general advice is to use a HMT connection to
“educate” that join. Person -> has many Clubs -> through Membership
would be a simple example. Membership can have a member type picker, a
date joined, date kicked out of the club for unsportsman-like conduct,
whatever other “smart” attributes the real relationship might need to
carry.

Walter

Walter,

Thanks for the input. My question was only about the example in my book
which indicated that the config of ‘t.references :’ would
work
for the ‘dumb’ join. What I found was that AR was looking for the
appended
‘_id’ for the t.references config. I received a reply here that
confirmed
the config in the book is valid, so it was probably an issue I caused
myself somewhere. I haven’t had the chance to try it again but I plan
to
do so tomorrow. Being new to the rails framework and ruby language I’m
concerned with knowing when and how I can use certain constructs, which
is
why I’m picking on this particular example. Although I might not use
the
dumb join often, it could happen.

BR

Blaine,

Thanks for the post. The book I’m reading followed up the basic join
example (many-to-many) with a ‘rich’ join (has_many :through). From
what I
understand there’s a scenario for both and they’re similar but there are
differences. In the book’s example the articles and categories tables
are
‘meeting up’ at the articles_categories table and not ‘going through’ to
reference another table.

Thanks

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