Hacktoberfest — Week Three

By: Mera Gangapersaud

So let me tell you a little something about yak shaving.

Hacktoberfest is a a month-long hackathon to encourage participation in open source.
It’s frustrating, annoying, delays my blog posts and sometimes makes me want to break things.
BUT it is not never-ending.

Now to be clear, I haven’t spent the past week trying to shave yaks. It’s a phrase for what seems like a series of never-ending little tasks in order to get to the actual task. My time this week was spent trying to get the development environment for the if-me.org website set-up on my computer.

This project required Ruby 2.3.4 and Rails 5.2.1 plus PostgreSQL. I preface the rest of this post with the fact that I am not familiar with any of these (I recognized SQL but where did the ‘Postgre’ come from?).

I started by installing Ruby and going through their tutorial to get familiar with the language. I also installed Docker which was an alternative option to PostgreSQL that I figured I could try. Next was trying to install RVM(Ruby Version Manager). Which doesn’t exactly work on windows itself; it works in a WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux). I was able to install RVM using the Ubuntu WSL but when I ran the command, rvm install 2.3.4 I was getting permission errors for writing the Ruby files to my drive. So I tried using Uru (similar to RVM) in Windows only to find out it cannot install the specific version of Ruby that I need.

GIF of cartoon prisoner infinitely opening doors taken from OhMaGif

At this point, I reached out to the if-me.org community to see if others had this issue and how they handled it. Turns out, most of them use a Mac… From those who did have a Windows machine, I was advised to use a Ubuntu partition or VM instead as the setup process is much easier.

And it was, much, much easier. I installed RVM, got Ruby 2.3.4, Rails 5.2.1, and PostgreSQL, setup Yarn and created the development and test databases.

Et voila! I got myself a locally hosted if-me.org website.

Image of if-me.org homepage

And there we have if folks. The yak has been shaved. Now I can finally try to fix my PR issue.

(After all of this was over another Windows user reached out to advise me how to get it working on WSL. I intend to try that as soon as I can.)


I haven’t completely fallen behind on my PRs. I owe thanks to Sean Prashad for bringing this one to my attention. An issue in the Microsoft Virtualization docs stated a link for downloading Docker was broken. I looked into it and fixed the doc so it has the right link. From downloading Docker earlier, I knew that an account was required to be able to get it and so I updated the file to reflect that.

It goes to show that as frustrating and tedious all that work to setup was, I was still able to use what I learned from the experience. Plus, since it was a Microsoft repo, I get cool swag.

PS. PostgreSQL is basically open-sourced object-relational DB system and it’s super cool

You can use our site if-me.org to share with loved ones your mental health experiences and plan out strategies to tackle them. We’re an open source organization run by volunteers.