An answer to a question of mine on DB design suggested something called single table inheritance. I've done a bit of searching on that, but I can't seem to find that much clear information on it.
Basically what I seem to understand from it is that you have a big table with all the fields in it and also a type field – and then your ORM layer uses the type field to give you different object views. Is that correct?
More importantly, is single table inheritance an 'approved' database design technique? By that I mean is it 'sensible' to use it? Is it also safe to use it, or does it cause problems?
The other issue is how well this works in rails? I've found a few references to it from rails – but does it cause problems by doing things the non-conventional way?
Any help much appreciated.