How to keep DRY with a nested, RESTful filter?


#1

As an exercise in learning about HCards, I’m putting together a
networking application for SXSW Interactive. Things are going along
well–I love the vpim vcard gem!–but I’ve got a question about how
to provide access to different types of contacts in my apps and still
remain DRY.

I have a User model, in which individuals are connected to each other
self-referentially through a Friendship model. The User.rb file
looks like this

class User < ActiveRecord::Base

has_many :friendships
has_many :friends, :through => :friendships, :source
=> :contact, :conditions => [ “friend = ?”, true ]
has_many :colleagues, :through => :friendships, :source
=> :contact, :conditions => [ “colleague = ?”, true ]

(Btw, as you can see, the friendships table has a column for each
sort of relationship–if anyone has a suggestion as to how to clean
that up, I’d appreciate it…but that’s not my main question…read
on :slight_smile:

I’ve created a Contacts controller to provide access to a user’s
contacts. The index method returns all of the user’s contacts, so
that if I visit a URL like this: http://localhost:3000/users/jacob/
contacts all my contacts are returned.

I’d like to be able to drill down to any give type of contact, so
I’ve created methods (accessible via GET, acting on the collection of
a user’s contacts) to access each type of contact, like so:

def index
@contacts = @user.contacts
end

def friends
@contacts = @user.friends
render_action :index
end

def colleagues
@contacts = @user. colleagues
render_action :index
end

This works as expected, but and it gives me nice URLs like http://
localhost:3000/users/jacob/contacts;met, but it’s obviously not very
dry, and besides, if I add a respond_to block (in either the index or
friends, colleagues, etc. methods) none of the collection methods
will return anything other than HTML–appending .xml to the link like
http://localhost:3000/users/jacob/contacts;met.xml returns an error.

Does anyone have any advice about how to go about DRYing up this sort
of filtering?

thanks in advance for your help,

best,

Jacob P.


#2

On Feb 13, 8:43 am, Jacob P. removed_email_address@domain.invalid wrote:

if I add a respond_to block (in either the index or
friends, colleagues, etc. methods) none of the collection methods
will return anything other than HTML–appending .xml to the link like http://localhost:3000/users/jacob/contacts;met.xmlreturns an error.

Wouldn’t that look more like this?

/users/jacob/contacts.xml;met

As far as DRYing up is concerned, why not simply pass a type parameter
as part of your requests, e.g.

/users/jacob/contacts.xml?type=friends

Ciao,
Sheldon.