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Three Things: Rails, JOIN tip, and Responsiveness

Here's another entry in my Three Things series, where I share a few small tips I've picked up lately.

1. Rails and Dramas

Sometimes I think that since Rails allows you write code efficiently, [a few] members of the Rails community have time to overdramatize incidents that otherwise would go relatively unnoticed :) Someone with a good sense of humor created this website to track these dramas. While it's probably a waste of time to get caught up on the personal aspects of the drama, some of the dramas have interesting technical aspects which are fiercely defended.

2. JOIN with concat

Recently I needed to perform a JOIN on a partial string match in MySQL. After some investigation, I found that I had use the CONCAT method in a conditional (in an implicit inner JOIN), which looked like this:

SELECT * FROM products p, related_items ri WHERE concat(p.sku, '%') =

In modern MVC frameworks with ORMs, databases are typically not designed to include data associations in this manner. However, in this situation, data returned from a third party service in a non-MVC, ORM-less application was only a substring of the original data. There may be alternative ways to perform this type of JOIN, and perhaps my fellow database experts will comment on the post with additional techniques ;)

3. Responsiveness

Responsive web design is all the rage lately from the increase in mobile web browsing and tablets. Here is a fun tool that that the ecommerce director at Paper Source pointed out to me recently. The website allows you to render a single URL at various widths for a quick review of the UI.

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