Replace newlines with commas


Note! If you’re only interested in the solution, read the Solution section at the end.

I had a companies table with more than 2M rows. And for each company I wanted to set a column, should_index, based on some conditions. There was no way I could write this in pure SQL (at least not with my knowledge), so I created a simple rake task:

namespace :companies do
  task :update_should_index => :environment do
    Company.find_in_batches do |companies|
      # ...

Running this took forever, so I wanted to avoid doing this again. I knew that the companies table was not going to change, so I thought I’d create a SQL-script and run it on the other environments and computers that was working on the project. So I wanted to dump all company ids that had should_index = 1:

$ echo "SELECT id FROM companies WHERE should_index = 1;" | mysql -u user -p -D database > ids.sql

Then all I had to do was to create a simple update query like this with the ids in the file:

> UPDATE companies SET should_index = 1 WHERE id IN (1, 2, ... , n);

Pretty simple! Except that the ids.sql file contained more than 100 000 lines of ids. Emacs usually is really good at these kind of things, except that 100 000 lines was to much. So I had to figure out a way to convert from:



2334, 45345, 2342, 23434, ...


I tried a little bit of sed and awk. But it turns out that the winner by far was tr:

$ tr '\n' ', ' < ids.sql > ids_with_commas.sql

Thats it! Now I have a nice SQL-script that takes just a few seconds to run.

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