Reconstructing model objects from XML

Hi

I’m using to_xml to provide XML export of model objects. I’m looking
for a simple solution to implement the reverse, so that I can
reconstruct the model objects from just the XML.

Using Hash.from_xml I can parse the XML into a Hash and pass this into
the initializer:

m = Model.new(hash)

Whilst this works fine for simple models it doesn’t (seemingly) work
with relationships. Take the following example:

class Account
  has_many :users
end

The XML produced by to_xml is:

<account>
  <id>1</id>
  <users>
    <user>
      <id>1</1>
    </user>
  </users>
</account>

Calling Account.new(hash) results in
“ActiveRecord::AssociationTypeMismatch: User expected, got Array”,
which is to be expected because the initialize method doesn’t
configure relationships in this way (I don’t think).

Does anyone have a proper solution for this problem, perhaps by
extending ActiveRecord, or is it just a matter of manually
reconstructing each of the relationships?

Thanks in advance.

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