PostgreSQL and Ruby

Today was a day of strange sensations and frustrations. The Stripe backend code was written in Ruby, a language I have no familiarity at all in. (At least Javascript kinda looked like the C++ I attempted back in the 1990s).

To really make the page work, I wanted to include a running total of donations. I figured this would have been something provided by stripe - but no - I would have to log every transaction manually.

I thought about logging them to a CSV file, but the problem is - what happens when two people donate at the same time? Data corruption is no fun.

So that meant installing a PostgreSQL database.


PostgreSQL, actually, wasn't that difficult once I was able to access it via the terminal with psql. I didn't need to do all that much. Create a table, and just gather e-mails and donations (mostly to write thank-you notes and keep track of unique donors.)


I can pretty much write whatever I'd like to get the data out of the database, but the trick was passing the information out of the Ruby-based backend program into PostgreSQL. And since I didn't know Line One of Ruby, I needed expert guidance.


Jhass over in #ruby on freenode had the patience of a saint, and we pretty much pair-coded (well, okay, it was mostly his ideas) and got the thing working, finally. Now, running totals and progress-bars are possible. YAY!


Brian Boyko

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Austin, Texas
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