PostgreSQL + Perl + Unicode == confusion. Why?

Yesterday I had an interesting discussion on irc.

A guy wanted to know why Perl script is causing problems when dealing with Pg
and unicode characters.

The discussion went sideways, I got (a bit) upset, and had to leave anyway, so
I didn't finish it. But it did bother me, as for me the reasons of the problem
seem obvious, yet the person I talked with was very adamant that I have the
whole thing wrong.

So, I figured I'll use my blog to elaborate a bit…

Continue reading PostgreSQL + Perl + Unicode == confusion. Why?

Filling the gaps with window functions

Couple of days ago I had a problem that I couldn't solve after ~ 2 hours, and decided to ask on IRC. Almost immediately after asking, I figured out the solution, but David asked me to write about the solution, even though it's now (for me) completely obvious.

The problem was like this:

I had two tables, with very simple structure: event_when timestamptz, event_count int4, and wanted to show it as a single recordset with columns: event_when, event_count_a, event_count_b, but the problem was that event_when usually didn't match. Here is an example:

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What mistakes you can avoid when looking for help on IRC?

Today, there was this one person on IRC, which asked question and provided some data. While working on helping him (her?), I noticed some things, that bugged me before in other cases, but this time i decided to write about it – it's kind of rant, and if you (the reader) are the person that I'm basing my example on – please do not feel “punished" – it just so happens, that you exhibited some things that make helping others more difficult than it could be – so: you're not special, although I would really prefer if you were 🙂

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Stupid tricks – Dynamic updates of fields in NEW in PL/pgSQL

Dynamic updates of fields in NEW in PL/pgSQL

Today, on #postgresql on IRC, strk asked about updating fields in NEW record, in plpgsql, but where name of the field is in variable.

After some time, he sent his question to hackers mailing list. And he got prompt reply that it's not possible.

Well, I dare to disagree.

Continue reading Stupid tricks – Dynamic updates of fields in NEW in PL/pgSQL

Getting list of most common domains

Today, on #postgresql on IRC, guy (can't contact him now to get his permission to name him), said:

I have a table called problematic_hostnames. It contains a list of banned hostnames in column “hostname" (varchar). I would like to display the top 10 troll ISPs based on this. Does PG have a way of spotting a “pattern"? Some ISPs are example.net while others are foo.bar.example.net, so you can't just regexp the last X.Y (since that would cause “.co.uk" to be one of the top troll ISPs).

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