Security article, SQL/XML and my PC…

I wrote a summary of some of the recent security posts (Basic Security Measures for Oracle). If I’ve missed something out feel free to drop me a line.

I’ve been doing some SQL/XML again today. It’s really quite simple, but when I’m away from it for a while I manage to convince myself it’s going to be a pain. Well the XML generation was no problem, pity defining the XML Schema wasn’t as easy. It looks like I’m going to get to play with this a bit more in the next few days.

I’ve just bought another 1G of RAM for my machine at home. It makes playing DVDs at the same time as running Oracle10g on a VMware virtual machine much easier 🙂 In the next few days I should receive my NSLU2. After my recent Windows fiasco I decided to get a bit more storage and a NAS to connect them to. It seemed like a much better idea than plugging some disks into the back of my machines. Time will tell 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

jEdit…

I have no problem using vi or gedit, but it’s really handy to edit remote files directly, rather than constantly FTPing files around.

When I’m working on Windows I tend to use UltraEdit as my main text editor, but I use Windows less and less these days, so I’m starting to use jEdit much more. It’s multi-platform, it’s open source and it has loads of plugins, including an FTP plugin to allow editing of remote files.

Just thought I’d mention it 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Web Scripting for Oracle…

Just knocked together a quick run through some web scripting languages:

Web Scripting for Oracle

The examples are purposely brief and there is no mention of best practices etc. It’s simply meant to illustrate how to interact with the database.

I’m hoping this will save me having to repeatedly explain how to use bind variables.

Cheers

Tim…

Raptor SQL Formatter Issue…

It looks like there are some outstanding issues with the Raptor SQL formatter. It doesn’t appear to work at all when editing a package, but it will work for a procedure or an SQL statement. When it does work it appears to have some odd ideas about how PL/SQL variables should be defined. This example shows one case:

-- Before
CREATE OR REPLACE PROCEDURE dummy_proc AS
l_dummy_1 dual.dummy%type;
l_dummy_2 dual.dummy%type;
BEGIN
l_dummy_1 := 'x';
DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('l_dummy_1=' || l_dummy_1);
l_dummy_2 := 'x';
DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('l_dummy_2=' || l_dummy_2);
END;

-- After
CREATE OR REPLACE PROCEDURE dummy_proc AS l_dummy_1 dual.dummy % type;
l_dummy_2 dual.dummy % type;
BEGIN
l_dummy_1 := 'x';
DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('l_dummy_1=' || l_dummy_1);
l_dummy_2 := 'x';
DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE('l_dummy_2=' || l_dummy_2);
END;

It seems to be a little confused by the declaration section of the procedure. I’ve posted this on the support forum. I hope this gets fixed before the production release.

In addition to this, the SQL formatter is a little lacking in configuration options.

Cheers

Tim…

Raptor. It does what it says on the tin…

I guess everyone knows by now that Raptor has arrived now. I downloaded it and had a little play and here are my first impressions:

  • It takes an age to start up. No doubt this is due to it being based on the JDeveloper framework. The words “Java” and “Fast” are rarely used in the same sentence where GUI applications are concerned.
  • Once loaded, the application is quite quick and responsive.
  • The look and feel is clean and simple, not dissimilar to PL/SQL Developer. Not at all like the “junk-yard” that is TOAD.
  • There are a few nice touches. When dealing with large numbers of objects, expanding the navigator does not list all of them. Instead, it lists the first few and gives you the option for more. This is much better than waiting around for ages, especially when you’ve expanded the wrong node 🙂
  • I’m not totally sure the editor window deals with fonts correctly. On my installation 12pt looks really chunky, but 10pt requires a magnifying glass to read. I usually use 8pt for my regular text editor, so something is a little fishy here.
  • It has all the things you would expect for a PL/SQL development tool, like syntax highlighting, debugger, PL/SQL beautifier etc. In addition it has a reporting tab that allows you to produce predefined and user defined reports. This is a nice touch for those people that have an endless array of custom scripts.

My initial impression is very positive, although it will be the New Year before I get to use the product in anger. I’m glad Oracle have resisted the temptation to build an “all things to all people” product. I find most IDEs annoying because of the shear volume of junk included. If Oracle keep it simple and keep it free this is going to be a bigtime winner.

I see no reason to pay for a product like PL/SQL Developer when you can use Raptor for free. TOAD may be a different matter though. Personally, I prefer Raptor’s clean interface to the clutter of TOAD, but if you are somebody that uses all the rubbish included in TOAD, then Raptor is probably not for you.

Over the last few months I’ve seen myself slip into a very negative frame of mind regarding Oracle products. Perhaps Raptor is a turning point. Keep up the good work!

Cheers

Tim…

Windows…

I have one XP machine that I use for remote access to work. I need to use Windows on it as the VPN software I have to use is Windows only. Yesterday the Windows installation died and it doesn’t want to be repaired. The disk is fine, it’s just the crappy OS that is moaning. How I loath Microsoft products sometimes.

I’ve managed to install the VPN software on a Windows virtual machine on my CentOS box, the previous version wouldn’t allow this for some reason, so I have remote access again, but no need for a dedicated Windows machine. All is well with the world!

Cheers

Tim…

King Kong and the last of the Christmas parties…

I went to to see King Kong on Friday night. Considering it was 3 hours long, it went by in a flash. I was a little worried I’d get bored senseless, like I was during LOTR – The Two Towers, but it wasn’t a problem. In my opinion, it’s well worth a visit to the big screen.

I had a couple of Christmas events this weekend. First was the Karate Club Christmas party on Saturday night. Lots of food and quite a bit of dancing. It was a great laugh and I got home at about 03:00, so I was a bit knackered for the second event, which was Sunday lunch with some friends I won’t get to see at Christmas. That marks the end of the planned Christmas parties for this year, so it’s back normal eating in an attempt to reduce my current girth 🙂

Cheers

Tim…