Friday, August 29, 2008

APEX 3.1.2 Available

Just before the holiday weekend here in the states, it looks like APEX 3.1.2 is available as Metalink Patch #7313609.  More details can be found here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

OTN Forums Update - Take Two

Looks like Oracle updated the Forums software over the weekend. So far, this round has gone much better in the past.

I do have one major gripe with the new point system. Everyone is a Newbie now, which kinda sucks for those who have posted hundreds or thousands of times. Sure, quantity does not infer quality, but we all know that there are a core group of regulars on this Forum who are anything but Newbies.

My main concern is how your status is actually elevated. You only get points if someone marks their post as "answered". Looking at this weekend's posts, many of them are answered in the thread, but not actually "set" to answered. Thus, the person who answered the post correctly is no closer to a Guru than they were before. I imagine that this will come in time, as people get used to the new software and policies, or at least I hope that it does.

This feature does have some promise, as there are definitely some benefits - looking at the list of posts, you can immediately see which ones are already answered, thus saving time if you're either looking for an answer or looking for questions which to answer. I think that the objectiveness of it may end up helping overall, as someone who posts a lot of "chatter" would ultimately not advance in the standings, whereas someone who posts less frequent but more correct posts would. I guess only time will tell.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Professor Anti-Java

I saw this article the other day:  http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/entdev/article.php/3761921/The+Anti-Java+Professor+and+the+Jobless+Programmers.htm

It seems that even universities are falling victim to the Internet "buzz" factor, caving in what people deem as popular and cool versus what industry actually needs.  This shift has or will cause a major issue when these students walk out of college and cannot find the challenging jobs they were promised, as companies building systems seek developers skilled in anything but Java.  Unfortunately, Ada isn't sexy; Java is.

Sure, there's a demand for Java developers, and always will be for at least the forseeable future.  There's also a huge demand for what Dewar deems "trivial web applications" that can be met with a multiple number of tools.  These systems admittedly do have a different expectation when it comes to how reliable they must be as compared to an avionics system, for example.  But to the client, they are no less important.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

PL/PDF 2.0

It appears that the folks over at PL/PDF have released version 2.0 of PL/PDF.  According to their documentation, this is the list of new features for 2.0:

 - SetDocDisplayMode: doc extended
- native PNG support (PrintImageCell, PutImage p_type)
- use without InterMedia
- PrintFlowingTextLimit: bad charter handling fixed
- PrintMultiLineCell: bad charter handling fixed
- compress: LZW without Java
- SetCompress: new parameter: p_method
- plpdf_const package: new entries
- PutImage: new parameter: p_type
- PrintImageCell: new parameter: p_type

Check out PL/PDF, as it is an excellent way to generate PDF files from the Oracle Database without requiring any middle tier hardware/software, as it's mostly PL/SQL.

Those were the days...

We did some fun things back when I was working with the Oracle salesforce, but we never pushed the envelope quite this far:

http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/A-Software-Problem,-A-Marketing-Solution.aspx

Technically, it could be branded as an Oracle solution, and likely was...

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's time to what?

I've never been a huge fan of the United Airlines "It's time to fly" campaign. It started out OK, as it was just after 9/11 that it was introduced, and was some sort of calling to the public that air travel is safe again. It then morphed into something just a bit too artsy for what I think an airline should be trying to convey, especially in today's day and age of nickel-and-diming the passengers for everything they've got.

I just received an e-mail from them with a link to their new commercials, and they are downright weird, if not freaking scary. From the freaky crab directing an oceanic orchestra which includes a chest-thumping Shamoo to the guy who chases his paper ticket (who gets paper tickets anymore, as that costs an extra $20!) through a city and then falls into a throne help up by butterfly-people and balloons to the woman who cuts out her heart in what can only be described as a cross between a Gorillaz video and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, I just don't get what they are trying to sell or convey...

See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/user/uniteditstimetofly

Friday, August 08, 2008

I Am Rich

No, I didn't win the lottery (I don't even play, and you can't win if you don't play).

Evidently, some developer created an application for Apple's new AppStore called "I Am Rich".  He charged $999.99 for it - the maximum amount allowed.  All it does is show a glowing red ruby.  That's it.  The best part?  Eight people bought it before Apple took it down.

See the full article in the LA times here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

One more obstacle removed for us Mac users

When I switched from PC to Mac, there were a few applications that I knew that I would leave behind.  The one that stung the most was the ability to host online meetings.  On Windows, there were a number of options available - GotoMeeting, WebEx, Oracle iMeeting.  You could attend some of these meetings with Mac OS X, but you could not host a meeting.  Not fun.

Well, I'm happy to report that this is no longer the case, as it seems that both GotoMeeting and WebEx are offering full Mac OS X clients now, eliminating the need to spin up a Windows VM every time I want to conduct an on-line meeting.

This is great news, and so far, the GotoMeeting Mac client has worked almost flawlessly!  The one downside is that you can only share your desktop; not a specific application or region.  WebEx does allow specific application and region sharing, and I hope that this feature is on the radar for GotoMeeting in the near future.