Thanks, Oracle

We’re using Oracle at my current project. I wanted to run some reporting scripts on the database to do some nice graphs with Graphviz and yEd. “Well, that’s been done before, should be pretty easy to hook up ActiveRecord to Oracle”, I thought.

It turns out that’s nearly impossible to do on an Intel Mac running the x86 version of Ruby, since the Oracle Instant Client SDK only ships with PowerPC binaries so far (hence the title). Unless you recompile your whole Ruby install to PPC, something that to me sits somewhere between unspeakable and atrocious, you can’t link to its libraries, as far as I can tell.

But you can get SQLPlus to run on Rosetta. And you can get SQLPlus to spit out reasonably parseable HTML. And it’ll run slow - but for a quick-n-dirty report that you want to generate once every couple of months or so, it’s… ok.

def select_all(sql)
html = `echo "#{sql};" | sqlplus -r 3 -l -s -m "html on entmap on" #{@user}/#{@password}@#{@host}`
doc = Hpricot(html)
(doc/'tr').collect do |tr|
(tr/'td').collect do |td|
td.innerText.strip if td.innerText
end if (tr/'td').size == (doc/'tr/th').collect do |th|
th.innerText.strip if th.innerText

Look what you made me do, Oracle. You should be ashamed. As you can see, though, I’m not that easily embarrassed. Some people wouldn’t ever show this code to anyone, and deny its existence at all possible cost. I think it’s worth the shock value, though. :)