I only scored 9/10 on the 'How big a David Bowie fan are you?' quiz
. And I scored 20/20 on the 'can you tell Arial from Helvetica?' quiz
. But I only scored 32.1032% on the Geek Test
. So I still have some way to go.
Last week the OTN SQL and PL/SQL Forum hosted of those threads which generate heat and insight without coming to a firm conclusion: this one was titled WHEN OTHERS is a bug
. Eventually Rahul, the OP, complained that he was as confused as ever. The problem is, his question asked for a proof of Tom Kyte's opinion that, well, that WHEN OTHERS is a bug. We can't proof an opinion, even an opinion from a well-respected source like Tom. All we can do is weigh in with our own opinions on the topic.
One of the most interesting things in (more...)
Extreme programming is old hat now, safe even. The world is ready for something new, something tougher, something that'll... break through. You know? . And here is what the world's been waiting for: Transgressive Programming.
The Transgressive Manifesto is quite short:
It's okay to use
The single underlying principle
is that we value willful controversy over mindless conformity.
I do have a serious point here. Even programmers who haven't read the original article (because they can't spell Dijkstra and so can't find it through Google) know that
GOTOs are "considered harmful". But as Marshall and Webber point out, (more...)
Well, I say "new career" but really it's the same thing: Oracle development. I'm working on some complex data matching routines for a data warehouse. But it is new, because I'm a contractor.
Going freelance has been a big step, as I was with Logica for over seventeen years. Actually, the company I joined was CMG, which through a chain of mergers, acquisitions and re-brandings became CMG Admiral, LogicaCMG, Logica and is now part of CGI. Contracting is something I have been considering for
a while years but the actual decision almost took me by surprise. It's two weeks now, (more...)
Yesterday I was asked for my feelings about ANSI SQL join syntax. I think my main feeling is one of bafflement: why is this still an issue? After all, Oracle introduced support for the ANSI standard in SELECT statements in Oracle 9i, which means it has been available for over half my Oracle career. I admit it took me a while to get the hang of the syntax but now it is my default approach to writing queries. I like the separation of joins and filters, but I know not everybody does. For the doubters I have three words:
The last UKOUG Development SIG focused on Forms. Its theme was Forms in the 21st Century: modernise, integrate, migrate? I think we covered modernisation and migration very well. But even in a packed day we couldn't cover everything, and I fear integration was not done full justice.
It wasn't planned this way, but it so happens the upcoming UKOUG Development SIG is all about Application Integraton and SOA. Integration is a topic which is in everybody's baliwick. The business people want to get the best value from their existing IT investments. The architects need to understand the interfaces bewteen the (more...)
Like many Britons I have been enjoying the Winterval. This is the tradition of using three days of annual leave to join up the Christmas and New Year bank holidays to engineer an extended break from work. Winterval means many offices are deserted between Christmas Eve and the beginning of January.
The effect is exacerbated in many organisations which run their leave year from January to December, with a "use it or lose it" policy. So many people finished working a week or even a fortnight before Christmas. Which is nice for the people involved, but it does cause problems (more...)
One of my co-workers has on his desk "Teach yourself SQL in 10 minutes". Yes, it is a SAMS book.
According to Ben Forta, the author
, it is one of the best selling SQL books of all time. Not surprisng: who could resist a title like that?
I like his emphasis on getting stuff done. Even so, I think ten minutes is just about long enough to decide whether to pronounce it "sequel" or "ess queue ell".
"Ah," the barmaid said, "my favourite round." The order is a pint of Fursty Ferret, a pint of Badger Ale, a pint of Amstel and a pint of cider. But why would a barmaid have a favourite round?
Well, the Amsel and cider use automatic pumps. The barmaid places a glass under each tap and sets them running. Ferret and Badger, being proper ales, are served from hand pumps. Again, she places a glass under the two taps and, grasping a handle in each hand, draws both pints simultaneously. With the result that all four pints are ready together, (more...)
I like whiteboards. I like them a lot. Perhaps too much. Colleagues have mocked my eagerness to grab the dry marker pens and start scribbling. (I even carry my own set now, because all too often the whiteboard is penless).
A contractor I worked with told me about a previous gig where the office had been redecorated so that every wall was covered, floor to ceiling, in whiteboard material. By contrast, I visted a workplace last year with a floor full of techies and no whiteboards. In one of those places the management understood how developers work and wanted to (more...)
"Drunk girls know that love is an astronaut
It comes back but it's never the same"
Drunk girls - LCD Soundsystems
There's a site called Sorry I Haven't Posted
in which Cory Arcangel rounds up some of the inspiring, baroque or just downright surreal reasons which erstwhile bloggers have given for not having posted recently. Unfortunately I haven't got anything strange or startling. I didn't intend for Radio Free Tooting to fall silent for so long. It just happened. Work and other stuff got in the way.
It turns out blogging has got a lot more in common with jogging (more...)
The streets of San Franscisco are awash with rain. So are the pavements, sorry, sidewalks. Here and there stand clumps of delegates, in shock. Not just at the rain, but the fact that it is cold
rain. Apparently Californians are only used to warm rain.
My colleagues back in Englan have gleefully e-mailed me to say they are having some lovely sunny autumn days. I say it just goes to show, Open World is work and not a jolly.
Anyway, next year Oracle are going to scale out the Howard Street tent to provide a covered walkway between all the (more...)
Waiting for the keynote to start, the screens loop an animation of stacked cubes labeled "Database","Applications", "Infrastructure" etc unfurling themselves into strands of little cubes which click-clack across the screen and then reform into the big cube. The effect is like a 3D version of the old skool game, Snake, in which you have to direct an ever-elongating python so it swallows mice, spiders and other small creatures.
So anyway, on comes Scott McNealy in a sweater he describes as being "Oracle maroon". I think Open World has missed Scott.. He was one of the few keynote speakers who you (more...)
One of the advantages of membership of the Jet Lag Junta is that I had already been awake for several hours when Tom Kyte kicked off Oracle Develop at 09:00 on Sunday morning. The topic of Tom's talk was What are we still doing wrong?
It was a good mix of insight and humour. He covered:
- Underestimating complexity
- Not knowing how to ask for help
- We write/generate way too much code
- We pretend everything will be alright
- Security matters.
I think Tom would be the first to admit that most of these are things he has been banging on about (more...)
Weather is going to be a feature of the conference this year. As the plane made its final approach into SFO out of the windows we could see this enormous blanket of fog laying siege to the city. The city itself was clear and the towers of Downtown glittered in the sunshine. Outside the airport, waiting for a taxi the sun was shining strongly enough to make me wish I had brought some sunscreen. But walking about SF later there was a cool wind. So a jacket, while not strictly required, was welcome.
There's more weather to come. Apparently some (more...)
All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey. Which hackneyed line can only mean one thing: OpenWorld 2009 is upon us. I have applied for Bloggers' credentials so it occurred to me that I had better resume posting, in case anybody checks up on these things.
One of the reasons why I haven't blogged anything recently is that I have been working hard on my presentation. My talk is called Designing PL/SQL with Intent
(seats still available!). I haven't coded any PL/SQL for work this year, which ironically has given me time to actually think about it. (more...)
It's been a fortnight since Log Buffer
rounded up the reaction to the nascent No SQL movement
. But there is a lively thread still running on Oracle-L. The entire thread is worth reading
, but I was particularly struck by something Nuno Souto
"Now: the simple fact here is that folks from Google, Facebook, Myspace, Ning etcetc, and what they do as far as IT goes, are absolutely and totally irrelevant to the VAST majority of enterprise business."
This is so true. For starters, there is no SLA for users of Google's search engine. If Google doesn't include (more...)
In fact he may well leave a spam comment on this post, touting his list of bridalwear sites. As "Jerry" in all likelihood doesn't read English the irony will be lost on him. I'm talking as though "Jerry" is human but probably he is a bot: I seem to remembering reading that somebody had cracked captchas a while back. Certainly "Jerry" has been the only spamtard persistent enough to spam every single post on this site, even my very first one
(which possibly makes him the first person to visit that page, ever). "Laptop Battery", "Peter W" and "Eda" are (more...)
The digest from one of my LinkedIn groups included a plaintive cry from Bruce Newman, VP of the Productivity Institute, regarding their weekly newsletter. One of the articles in the current issue has been read far more often than all of the others and he would like to know why.
Here is the list: which one would you
choose to read first?
- Why Even Good Marketing Fails - And How To Fix It
- The Problem Of Self Examination
- Knowledge Management Systems: It's Not What You Know...
- It's All In The Details
- People Drive ERP Systems' Performance
- Defining A Company's Identity
After threatening for years to start a blog Martin Widlake has finally put fingers to keyboard
. Some of you may recall that I am a fan of his UKOUG presentations
. His writing is entertaining and insightful too. Despite his blog being called Yet Another OracleBlog
he has not written much on Oracle, but I expect that will come.
In the meantime Martin has revisited "The knowledge curtain", a concept he discussed in one of those UKOUG presentations. The curtain is that barrier of misunderstanding which separates users and IT staff. It is one of the main reasons why some IT (more...)