ActiveRecord query with alias'd table names

Well, well, well. After quite a big time looking through the sources of Arel, ActiveRecord and Rails issues (it seems this is not new), I was able to find the way to access the current arel_table object, with its table_aliases if they are being used, inside the current scope at the moment of its execution.

That made possible to know if the scope is going to be used within a JOIN that has the table name aliased, or if on the other hand the scope can be used on the real table name.

I just added this method to your Expirable concern:

def self.current_table_name
  current_table = current_scope.arel.source.left

  case current_table
  when Arel::Table
  when Arel::Nodes::TableAlias

As you can see, I'm using current_scope as the base object to look for the arel table, instead of the prior attempts of using self.class.arel_table or even relation.arel_table, which as you said remained the same regardless of where the scope was used. I'm just calling source on that object to obtain an Arel::SelectManager that in turn will give you the current table on the #left. At this moment there are two options: that you have there an Arel::Table (no alias, table name is on #name) or that you have an Arel::Nodes::TableAlias with the alias on its #right.

With that table_name you can revert to your first attempt of #{current_table_name}.#{lower_bound_field} and #{current_table_name}.#{upper_bound_field} in your scopes:

def self.lower_bound_column

def self.upper_bound_column

scope :current_and_future, ->(as_at = { where("#{upper_bound_column} IS NULL OR #{upper_bound_column} >= ?", as_at) }
scope :current_and_expired, ->(as_at = { where("#{lower_bound_column} IS NULL OR #{lower_bound_column} <= ?", as_at) }

This current_table_name method seems to me to be something that would be useful to have on the AR / Arel public API, so it can be maintained across version upgrades. What do you think?

If you are interested, here are some references I used down the road:

  • A similar question on SO, answered with a ton of code, that you could use instead of your beautiful and concise Ability.
  • This Rails issue and this other one.
  • And the commit on your test app on github that made tests green!