join a sequence of strings.)


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So far in this chapter you ve worked directly with databases using a whole new language: SQL. Working with a database in this way is more efficient and reliable than putting data into text files, as you did earlier, but ActiveRecord makes it easier still. ActiveRecord is a product of the Ruby on Rails framework, which we ll be covering in 13, but can be used entirely independently of it. ActiveRecord will be covered in more depth in that chapter, but deserves a brief summary here. ActiveRecord abstracts away all the details of SQL and database design and makes it possible to relate to items within databases in an object-oriented fashion, as you did with PStore. ActiveRecord gives you objects that correspond to rows and classes that correspond to tables, and you can work with the data using Ruby syntax, like so:

This code looks through the people table for a row whose name column matches Chris, and puts an object relating to that row into person. ActiveRecord makes attributes available for all that row s columns, so changing the age column is as easy as assigning to the object s attribute. However, once the object s value has been changed, you issue the save method to save the changes back to the database.

When you make the audience the main character of your story in Act I of the story template, you make the story all about them instead of all about you. So rather than the presentation being a performance in which you re the star who entertains an adoring crowd, you re part of the supporting cast in the service of the audience. This is a shift from seeing the primary function of PowerPoint as speaker support to a new view in which PowerPoint serves as audience support. A presentation isn t a one-way street; it takes the interaction of presenters and audiences to create a dialog. You just happen to be the rst one to speak, and because you re the presenter, you re the one who is in charge of getting the interaction started.

Note The pluralization from a Person class to a people table is an automatic part of ActiveRecord s

The previous code could replace SQL such as this:

As another example, let s imagine that you could only use max with two arguments (in fact, it works with entire sequences) and you wanted to use it on a sequence. Then you could use reduce: >>> reduce(max, numbers) 119 The max function is used here to return the maximum of two numbers, and instead of keeping track of a sum, reduce keeps track of the maximum so far. Let s take another peek under the hood: def peek_max(x, y): print 'Finding max of', x, 'and', y return max(x, y) Just like peek_sum, peek_max prints out its arguments when it is executed. Let s use it with reduce: >>> reduce(peek_max, Finding max of 3 and Finding max of 5 and Finding max of 5 and Finding max of 6 and Finding max of 9 and 9 [3, 5, 2, 6, 9, 2]) 5 2 6 9 2

SELECT * FROM people WHERE name = "Chris" UPDATE people SET age = 50 WHERE name = "Chris"

The dialog you create with the presentation begins with you after all, the audience is granting you their time to listen to what you have to say An audience will be more likely to give your presentation a fair hearing if they know that you re being authentic You communicate your authentic personal credibility in a number of ways, beginning with the introduction you planned in your storyboard in 7, continuing with the clarity of your ideas and the crispness of your message, and then carrying through with the visual credibility of your slides and the verbal credibility of your narration Adding your name to the byline of the story template when you begin writing the script establishes your personal responsibility for the presentation process from start to nish The biggest bene t of being so closely involved is that the presentation eventually becomes an extension of who you are.

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