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README.Debian
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geocoder-us.postinst
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README.Debian

geocoder-us for Debian
----------------------

The Geocoder::US package is a Ruby library that uses a database built from the
US Census Bureau's TIGER/Line data to interpolate a latitude/longitude
coordinate for a given US street address.

Binary shared objects
---------------------

The Geocoder::US module depends on being able to load a native extension module
in its SQLite driver. For this reason, a version of libsqlite-ruby >= 1.3.0 is
needed. The module is built and included in the .deb as `sqlite.so`, and it is
installed in the same directory as the Ruby modules. This may not be ideal, but
this makes it easy for the Geocoder::US library to find it there; otherwise, a
configuration option would be necessary.

REST API server
---------------

The library's API centers on a single method 'geocode' to the
Geocoder::US::Database class that takes an address string and returns a list of
dicts containing the most likely matches with coordinates.

The `geocode` method is wrapped in a very simple Sinatra application with a single
endpoint `/geocode` and a single argument `q`, which returns the result of the
geocode method in JSON format.

The Sinatra web framework does not support running as a daemon on its own, so
the Thin web server is used as a container for the application. This package
creates an `/etc/geocoder-us` directory containing two files:

`/etc/geocoder-us/geocoder.ru` is the "rackup" adapter between Thin and Sinatra
and should probably not be changed. This file doesn't have to live in /etc, but
I couldn't figure out where else to put it.

`/etc/geocoder-us/thin.yml` contains the configuration options to run the Thin
server. This file as packaged runs the REST server as the www-data user on port
8080. This file *probably* doesn't need to be changed, but if the server starts
doing weird things, different options to control Thin's behavior can be set
here.

The package creates `/var/log/geocoder-us` and `/var/run/geocoder-us`
directories for the Thin log file and PID file, respectively, and chowns them
to www-data.

An init script is also included in `/etc/init.d/geocoder-us`. It is heavily
hacked from the default Debian init.ex script to support the weirdnesses of
Thin, but it is LSB compliant and supports the `status` command.

Where to put the database
-------------------------

The location of the database file should be set in `/etc/default/geocoder-us`.
The package creates a `/var/lib/geocoder-us` directory and configures the
database location by default to be `/var/lib/geocoder-us/geocoder.db`. If you
have an EBS volume containing a file called `geocoder.db`, for example, you can
just mount the volume at `/var/lib/geocoder-us` and then start the server and
all will be well.
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