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Tip: Database, For 'Event Occurred' Use Bool From Date.

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Tip: Database, For 'Event Occurred' Use Bool From Date.

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From: http://jamis.jamisbuck.org/articles/2005/12/14/two-tips-for-working-with-databases-in-rails
First tip: I’ve found recently that if I have a boolean field in the database that is being used to mark whether some event occurred (referrals.pending, or feeds.subscribed) it is often more effective to make the field a datetime and record the moment that the event occurred. Then, a NULL can be used to indicate that the event has not yet occurred. Thus, you have referrals.applied_at with a method on Referral like this:

  def pending?

This gives you the capability down the road to not only report whether the event occurred, but how frequently over various periods of time.

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