For those who aren't familiar with hstore, it's a key/value
storage type that is packaged as an extension or contrib in PostgreSQL 8.2+. In PostgreSQL 9.0 it got a little extra loving in several ways one of which was the introduction
of the hstore(record) casting function that converts a record to an hstore. In this article, I'll demonstrate how you can use this new casting function to do very sleek mail merges right in the database. The only caveat is that it seems to only correctly name the keys if it is fed a real table or view. Derived queries such as aggregates etc get keys named f1, f2, etc.
If you are on PostgreSQL 9.1 or above installing -- hstore is just a CREATE EXTENSION hstore; sql command away. If you are on a lower version of PostgreSQL,
you can usually find the hstore.sql in share/contribs.
What happens when you take a bunch of auto-generated tests and test results
which you burn into rasters with SQL?
You get a code fingerprint of sorts. Well that was the dream I wanted to explore. Now that PostGIS 2.0 has introduced a new spatial type called raster
and lots of functionality including some very cool Map Algebra functionality to go with it,
this is now possible without too much fuss. My first attempt at it didn't produce quite what I expected. I have to admit it is absolutely gorgeous
and will be hopefully useful once I figure out how to read it, tweak the rendering process to achieve more of a breakout of results, or patent it as a fabric style.
Now for the story of how a computer nerd is born and how rasters can be useful to nerds.