The Adventures of the Trickster developer – Aliases

The Trickster is a mythological being who enjoys potentially dangerous counter-intuitive behaviour. You'll often find him deep within the source code of large systems.

The Alias Trap

Generally an alias in a query is there to make it easier to understand, either for the developer or the database. However (more...)

SCNs and Timestamps

The function ORA_ROWSCN returns an SCN from a row (or more commonly the block, unless ROWDEPENDENCIES has been used).

select distinct ora_rowscn from PLAN_TABLE;

But unless you're a database, that SCN doesn't mean much. You can put things in some sort of order, but not much more.

Much better is

An Oracle April Fools trick

If anyone is looking for a trick for April Fools' Day, try

alter session set nls_date_format = 'fm';

The result will be an simple TO_CHAR on a date, or implicit conversion of a date to a string, will return NULL. You could try that with an ALTER SYSTEM too.

If (more...)

Out with the old, in with the new

Uncategorized
| Feb 4, 2013
The good news is that I've successfully got my picture being flagged up with my blog articles in Google Search. 

The bad news is that sometimes (mostly ?) it has the picture from my deprecated 'domain' GPlus account rather than my primary one. I suspect I need to take more drastic steps to eliminate the old profile. 


Folks, we have an Image Problem

Uncategorized
| Feb 1, 2013
Firstly the Daily WTF
"The forums have strong feelings about Oracle. Not a single one of those feelings is positive." 
This was actually a post in their "I hate Oracle" forum so it may be a bit biased. But the fact that the Dailt WTF have opened a forum just for Oracle with that name, well I get the hint.


It doesn't help that the only time Oracle hits the big news is when there's another major hole in Java. It's the only installer that comes with a revolving door as standard. Oh, and the Ask.com (more...)