Nested and non-nested resources, and admin restrictions

This is a fairly long question, but it’s a common one that applies to
a lot of applications. Here goes!

Many apps have/want a setup similar to this:

  1. ModelA has many ModelBs (Eg: User has many Photos).
  2. Admins CRUD all photos at /photos and beyond (Eg: /photos/1/edit).
  3. Admins CRUD User photos at /user/1/photos and beyond.
  4. Users CRUD their photos at /account/photos and beyond.

Some people don’t bother with #2, because photos can be CRUDed via #3.
However, I want #2 because it gives you a higher/broader view of the
Photos resource.

I’m trying to figure out an efficient, DRY/semi-DRY way of
implementing this. At the moment:

For #2 above, I’ve:

  1. Restricted PhotosController to admins.
  2. Created a Photos resource (map.resources :photos).

For #3 above, I’ve:

  1. Nested a Photos resource within the Users resource:
    map.resources :users, :has_many => :photos

For #4 above, I’ve:

  1. Created Account::PhotosController, which restricts photos to the
    current user (account).
  2. Nested Account::PhotosController within the Account singleton
    resource:
    map.resource :account do |account|
    account.resources :photos, :controller => ‘account/photos’
    end

Everything but #3 works perfectly. /user/1/photos calls
PhotosController#index , which finds all photos, rather than finding
only photos belonging to user 1.

I’ve come up with a few solutions, but don’t feel that any of them are
ideal.

Solution #1:
Create a whole new controller, which finds photos within the specified
user. However, this would duplicate 95% of PropertiesController, which
is pretty dirty.

Solution #2:
Create a method in PhotosController that abstracts the finding of
photos. However, this feels wrong because it’s mixing functionality
between two different resources (photos vs user-photos).
See http://pastie.org/pastes/322733

Solution #3:
Create a new controller which inherits from PhotosController, and add
a bit of logic to PhotosController to prevent it from finding photos
when they’ve already been found.
See http://pastie.org/322734

Solution #4:
Use the resource_controller plugin. However, I find that r_c limits
what I can do in some controller actions. For example, r_c only
provides customisable failure scenarios for #create, #update and
#destroy, while I need to customise every action’s failure scenario.

So, what do you guys think of those solutions, and are there any other
solutions that are more ideal?

Cheers,
Nick

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