In this lesson, we will learn some basics about two languages that are fundamental to how (many) web applications work – HTML and SQL. To make this a bit real, the goal of this exercise will be to write a script in Ruby that can do the following: look at the newest stories on Reddit, and insert into a local database the following information about the top 10 of those stories – the author, how many points it has, its category, its title, and the date it was posted.

HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, is the syntax understood by most browsers. It has been around for over thirty years and was designed initially by Tim Berners-Lee (who recently appeared on the Internets pleading for your help in keeping the Internets open – go watch this video!)

SQL, or Structured Query Language, is used in creating and querying what are called “relational” databases – where the stored data refers to various objects that have relationships to each other (a typical example would be an e-commerce database, where products are related to the companies that sell them.)

Read More →