Rails Migrations – how I’m using them

I’m fairly certain I am using them a little unconventionally, and just wondered – am I alone? Before going on I will add that I’m able to use them this way because a) the app is still in development, and b) I am the only developer.

Given I started on the app at the beginning of this year and have worked on it an hour or two a day (give or take a few weeks here and there!) since, notice anything unusual?

That’s right – they are mostly migrations for creating tables. But how do I modify my tables/schema?

Easy, (depending on the migration) I just open it, change it, save it. Then run:

rake db:migrate VERSION=0
rake db:migrate
rake db:populate

If the migration contains indexes that I need to change (or anything more complex that the Rails ‘change’ method can’t handle) then I just do the edit after running rake db:migrate VERSION=0.

In my rake db:populate file, I clear out tables before refilling them with the data I need to work with, eg:

# encoding: utf-8
# lib/tasks/populate.rake

namespace :db do
  desc "Erase and repopulate"
  task :populate => :environment do
    User.create do |user|
      user.email = "email@example.com"
      user.name = "Me"
      user.password = "secret"
      user.password_confirmation = "secret"

But why?

I just feel it is tidier, and easier to work with. Whenever I want to see what my table consists of I go straight to the migration, instead of the schema file (although not always – depends if I know I want to change something or not) and of course I get a fresh DB with all my defaults. Also, I think from simplicity comes a certain degree of safety – but then I am an overcautious person.

To date I haven’t found any negatives doing it this way – but then this is my first Rails app… maybe you can find a cause for concern that I may have overlooked? Or am I not alone in how I’m using them…