WordPress 5.0

Especially if you are self-hosting WordPress, you might have noticed that WordPress 5.0 has been born.

I’m not a WordPress aficionado, so I don’t really pay much attention to most of the WordPress new features, but something you can’t avoid is the new editor. It’s completely different.

The new editor has been available for some time for the previous WordPress version as the “Gutenburg Plugin”. The dashboard has been encouraging you to try it for ages.ย Once you get to WordPress 5.0 you can switch back to the original editor using the “Classic Editor” plugin, that will allegedly be supported until 2021.

What are/were my my first impressions? I previously tried the Gutenberg plugin and pretty much hated it, and switched back right away. ๐Ÿ™‚ Now it is the main editor I’m going to try and stick with it.

I think the first thing that might freak you out is the idea of blocks. At first it seems really odd, as it implied to me I’ve got to add a new block every time I want a new paragraph. Not so! You just type and it figures out the block thing out for you. Type “return” and you start a new block. I think I’m probably guilty of over-thinking a lot of this stuff, rather than going with the flow and just seeing what happens.

I find it interesting how in some aspects of my life I’m quick to embrace change, like in the Oracle world, but in other parts of my life changes cause me problems. I think it probably comes down to what I’m interested in. I’m just not interested in blogging tools. I’m interested in blogging itself.

I’m also acutely aware that I often resist change, then a couple of weeks down the line I can barely remember a time before the change. I’m pretty sure that will be the case here. Today it took me a few minutes to figure out how to put that WordPress logo in the top-left of this post, whereas previously it took a second. I think it’s actually easier now and more WYSIWYG than it was before, but when it’s different, it feels wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚

So that’s it. Give it a go and see what you think!

Cheers

Tim…

PS. I expect a whole bunch of updates to come in the next few weeks as they discover all the bugs and security holes they’ve put into the new version. ๐Ÿ™‚

UKOUG Tech18 : Day 3

The first session of the day for me was Alex Nuijten with “and from the chaos comes the perfect APEX application”. This session was focused on the organisation and structure of APEX applications. You could describe it as #SmartDB or #HardShell I guess. The emphasis was on a functional API layer, with APEX used as a skin over that API layer. I share this opinion, but Alex takes it further than me, and in a more structured manner. He was having some problems with the screen blinking, but he’s a pro and took it in his stride. ๐Ÿ™‚

Next up was Amy Simpson-Grange with “Robotic Process Automation”. This was Amy’s first technical presentation, but you would never know it. There were some problems with the screen at the start of the session, and I’m sure she was freaking out inside, but she shrugged it off and did a great job switching between laptops. I’ve not really been involved in this type of automation before, so it was a learning experience for me, with a few light-bulb moments along the way. The content was great and the delivery was so relaxed and natural. I really hope she keeps on doing tech conferences in future!

After that I followed some of the analytic folks into a session by Abi Giles-Haigh called, “Open Source & Oracle Complementing not Competing”, which was focused on the AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning space. I freely admit to being clueless about this area, and Brendan seemed surprised to see me there. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was kind-of expecting to be totally lost, but Abi did a good job of making it noob-friendly for me, as well as giving the pros something to bicker over. ๐Ÿ™‚

Continuing the theme of watching stuff I knew nothing about, I went to Lonneke Dikmans presenting an “Introduction to Blockchain for Developers”. Over the years I’ve gained my first insights into the worlds of SOA, microservices and then serverless from Lonneke, and here I am learning about blockchain at one of her sessions. I wonder what next year will bring. ๐Ÿ™‚

Next up in the same room was Roel Hartman with “Docker for Database Developers”. I’ve seen a number of Docker presentations for DBAs and developers, including my own, and they all bring something different to the table that make you think. I guess so much depends on your area of interest and the use cases you have in mind, as that will direct your attention. A hardcore DBA will see things differently to a developer, and a generalist like me will probably sit somewhere between the two. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s good to see things from a few angles, as it gives you a more rounded perspective.

From there I tagged along with Dawn and met up with a few folks at a local hotel bar for a quick drink before heading off to get the train home.ย I got a table on the train, but disappointingly there was no wifi, so I had to write this blog post in a text editor, to post later. ๐Ÿ™‚

Me looking pretty in Machu Picchu, Peru, wearing a Chile hat. Photo taken by Debra Lilley a few minutes before I was hospitalised. ๐Ÿ™‚

So that’s the last conference of the year for me! Thanks to everyone at UKOUG for making the event happen and inviting me to speak. Thanks to the attendees and speakers who came along and made the event what it is. Thanks also to all last year’s attendees who filled in the speaker evaluations, that resulted in me getting the “Prettiest Speaker Ever” award this year! To this year’s attendees, please fill out the evaluations. It gives UKOUG feedback that helps with speaker selection in future, and it’s a nice pat on the back for the speakers if they get a prize. Finally, thanks to the Oracle ACE Program and the Oracle Groundbreaker Ambassadors for letting me continue to fly the flag.

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Previous posts in this series.

UKOUG Tech18 : Day 2

Day 2 started at 07:00. I hadn’t slept that great, so when the alarm went off I was thinking it would have been nice to stay in bed a little longer…

I got to the conference venue at about 08:00 and went straight to the “Women in IT – What has Changed?” session. Debra Lilley introduced the session and the speakers, then it was on to Daya Haines Haddockย and Amy Simpson-Grange telling their stories and speaking about their experiences and inspiration. Both were super-positive people and really inspirational. It was great to hear Amy is involved at the grass roots level at schools and colleges, spreading positive messages, letting people know they can be themselves and still succeed. The overriding message of the session was “Be brave. Be yourself. Take on challenges!” A good lesson for everyone.

I kind-of got lost for a while, chatting and catching up on the blog.

The next session I went to see was “Identifying Performance Problems in a Multitenant Environment” by Christian Antognini. It’s good to hear his thoughts on his approach and he pointed out a couple of things I had missed in the docs, so I’ve got them on my list to check out. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pretty soon it was time for my session called DBA Does Docker. It’s a real struggle to get this done in 45 minutes and I failed again. ๐Ÿ™‚ Nobody was following on from me, so I didn’t ruin the next speakers life. I hope people found it useful.

I spent some time chatting to Pete Finniganย about life, the universe and everything. That was followed by his session calledย “User Rights & Least Privilege”. I would like to say my systems don’t suffer from loads of the stuff he mentioned, but… It’s always good to go to Pete’s sessions and remind myself I need to try harder…

After that it was Jeff Smith with “Oracle SQL Developer – Everything you Need to know About Tuning”. Not surprisingly, this was a tour of the features available in SQL Developer that relate to performance tuning. There’s a lot in there these days! ๐Ÿ™‚

After Jeff’s session I bumped intoย Amy Simpson-Grangeย and had a total fanboy moment over her talk in the morning.

I went to my hotel to drop off my bag, then went back to the venue for the social event. Carbs! I chatted to a bunch of people, who kind-of provided counselling for me. Thanks folks! Then it was back to the hotel to crash.

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech18 : Day 1

Day 1 started at 05:00. Normally I start trips with a 30 minute taxi ride to the airport, leaving about 2.5 hours before the flight. Today I left the house 30 minutes before my train was due to depart. Not needing that 2 hour buffer makes a big difference.

I had upgraded to first class, a whopping ยฃ10 extra, to get a set with a table and wifi. The wifi was a little slow and it restricted a whole bunch of sites, but I was still able to do some stuff. I got an Uber from the station to the venue. The driver was playing The Prodigy and Nirvana. Awesome.

On exiting the taxi I tweaked my back. I tried to put my coat into my case and noticed it was locked, and I couldn’t remember the combination. What a surprise. I’m at a conference and things are going wrong… ๐Ÿ™‚

The first session of the day for me was “Using Vagrant to Build, Test & Debug Ansible Scripts Easily” byย Martin Bach. Followers of the blog know I’m a meddler with Vagrant and I’m an Ansible wannabe.ย  Martin was extolling the virtues of reliable and repeatable builds, which I’m all for. ๐Ÿ™‚

Next up was the keynote, which started with Martin Widlake doing the introduction to the event, and announcing the speaker awards based on last years evaluations.

Big shout out to all the winners in all the categories.

This year I picked up my third UKOUG speaker award, which means you are given the “Lifetime Achievement Award” and you are not included in “the race” in future years. I join an illustrious list of people who’ve been told to “get out and don’t come back!” ๐Ÿ™‚

Later on I had to pick up my award and get a photo opportunity. Thanks to everyone who filled in the speaker evaluations last year. It always surprises me when this type of thing happens, especially when I think how far I’ve come over the last 10 years of presenting. I still consider myself a “nervous speaker” and I watch other people present and think I’ve still got a lot to learn about presenting.

Next up was theย “Exadata – Roundtable Discussion with Development” hosted byย Gurmeet Goindi. I don’t work on Exadata, but I like to keep my ear to the ground, and get invited to a meetup later of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

After that I got lost in a whole bunch of conversations with a variety of people. I could lose a day doing this.

The next session I went to was “How Autonomous is the Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse?” byย Christian Antogniniย and Dani Schnider. I have to admit I was a little distracted during this talk because I was logged into work looking at some stuff. I spoke to Christian later to fill in the gaps a little.

From there I went to a panel session about the ACE program. Unfortunately it had been put in the wrong track, in a room the other side of the building, and up against a load of really good speakers who were going to soak up the audience (Maria). The audience was compact and bijou. ๐Ÿ™‚

From there I went back to the hotel to drop off my stuff, then it was off for a brief visit to the Exadata meetup, followed by the ACE dinner.

Looking back it was a really random day, but I got to speak to a lot of people, which is the best thing about conferences for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…