Hey all,

I have some problems creating a rendered xml file

this is my source

def show_friends
@profile = Profile.find(user)
@list = @profile.send(‘friends’).find(:all, :limit => 20, :order
=> ‘RAND()’)
@checkin = Checkin.find(:last, :conditions => {:profile_id =>
@place =
respond_to do |format|
format.html {render}
format.xml { render :xml => @list.to_xml(:dasherize =>

And this give as output

wouter * ...

What i want to do now is include the @place object in my xml

so like this:

wouter * ... ..

I know i can do :include => [:place] but this include all the places
from that person. I only want to get the last place where the user
checked in ( @checkin = Checkin.find(:last, :conditions =>
{:profile_id => @list})
@place = . So i really have to include this, but
I have tried many things but nothing works.

How can i do this?

Thank you,


I think creating a builder file in your views directory will be the
easiest way to get exactly the xml output you want.

Hey Josh,

Thank you for your answer. I have implemented this in my model and
controller and it works half.
I will try to explain what the problem is.

This is my code from profile.rb

has_many :place
has_many :checkin
has_one :last_checkin, :class_name =>“Checkin”, :order =>
“created_at desc”
has_one :last_place, :through => :last_checkin, :source => :place

so i get the last_checkin from my database sorted by latest,
last_place is then the place source from my last_checkin.
when i get the to_xml and have as include :last_checkin i see the
latest checkin

<created_at type=“datetime”>2009-07-31T19:00:49Z</created_at>

<places_id type=“integer”>59</places_id>
<profile_id type=“integer”>3</profile_id>


my places_id is here 59 so i want to get the source of this place. But
now when i do :last_place i get this


Namur BE 2009-07-31T18:43:50Z 57 50.4641 4.86043 Namen 2009-07-31T18:59:58Z

The id of place here is 57.

How does this comes and what am i doing wrong?

Thank you for your help!


I took a look at my own code where I test implemented this and
realized I have the same problem.

After watching SQL in the log and playing around in script/console I
realized this was happening

If I type user.last_checkin.last_place I was getting the correct place
if I typed user.last_place it wasn’t sorting by created_at anymore in
the query.
The same thing is happening in the to_xml…

This feels a little dirty to me, but it seems to work fine. Just
change the line in your model describing last_place to include the
ordered at on checkin table.

has_one :last_place, :through => :last_checkin, :source
=> :place, :order => ‘checkin.created_at desc’

and you should see the correct ‘last_place’

Let me know if this worked for you.


Thank you so much!

It worked

SOrry for late answer but forgot to answer!


I think the most efficient way would be to create a has_one in the
model with a unique name and use the conditions or order to get just
one entry. I just tested this on one of my apps and it worked pretty
I assume here that friends are just other profiles and a profile has
many checkins?
so you probably have something similar in profile.rb
has_many :checkins
has_many :places, :through => :checkins
Add (I think anyways)
has_one :last_checkin, :class_name => “CheckIn”, :order =>
has_one :last_place, :through => :last_checkin, :source => :place

And you can just do

@profile.send(‘friends’).find(:all, :limit => 20, :order => ‘RAND()’,
include => :last_place) .to_xml(:include => :last_place)

  • I put :last place in the finder to eager load, and again in the
    to_xml so that is is included in the xml.

Another way which doesn’t require the model modified or a builder and
is pretty ineffiecent for sql queries is

@items = @profile.send(‘friends’).collect do |f|
h = f.attributes
h[‘place’] =

Let me know if you still have problems and include the models.