Well it was a great day, it started off with the IOUG Application Express Special Interest Group Meeting (that’s a mouthful, so I’ll refer to it as Apex SIG from now on). Steve Howard chaired the meeting whilst Tony Jedlinski, Doug Gault, Dimitri Gielis and myself were on the roundtable, we spoke about our wishlists for future versions of Apex, which bugs affected us most, how we approached documenting the code for Apex projects and how version control was handled. Then we took questions from the audience, which is definitely the ‘fun part’, since you really don’t know what’s coming and whether you’ll start stuttering like a fool, or give an answer that might be useful to someone.
The questions were very very interesting and covered all levels of Apex, it was just a shame we didn’t get time to completely answer some of them (or to take more questions, since I got the impression that there were definitely more ‘questions in waiting’).
The Apex SIG Panel (left-to-right Steve Howard, Tony Jedlinski, Dimitri Gielis, Doug Gault, John Scott).
Oh I’d also like to apologise, since when I gave my answers for the features I’d like to see incorporate, I gave them from a hosting providers perspective and I mentioned things like mod_gzip compression and expiry headers which may not have struck a chord with many people in the audience, so I want to stress just how useful some of these features can be in making your applications much less resource intensive and give your endusers the impression of a more responsive application. If anyone wants to know more about these features, how to use them, what they can do, or generally wondering what the heck I was talking about *please* don’t hesitate to grab me if you see me walking round or drop me an email, since I’d be glad to chat about them (or any other Apex related questions you have).
On a related note, someone asked a question during Tony Jedlinski’s presentation related to making sure that someone couldn’t view the value stored in the password item by going into debug mode, if that person reads this blog (it’s a long shot), drop me a line or grab me as I’m walking around and I can explain how to overcome that.
After the SIG it was time for Tony Jedlinski’s session on Building a Dynamic Menu Framework with Apex, having just sat on the Apex SIG Panel with Tony, it was then interesting to be able to sit in the audience (and relax!) and listen to him present, he’s an excellent presenter, very relaxed and a very comfortable speaker. I did read Tony’s article in the Oracle magazine when it came out, I also took the time to re-read it before I came out to OOW since I knew I’d be going to his session, while the articles give you all you need to use his framework and methods, it’s no substitute for seeing it being done live infront of you, I’m a big fan of these sort of visual demo’s, since a picture paints a thousand words as they say.
Again, Tony took questions from the audience and it was interesting to hear all the different levels of questions coming from people.
Then it was time for Steven Feuerstein’s session on “Everything You Need To Know About Collections But Were Afraid To Ask”. Steven is an absolutely God on all things to do with PL/SQL, he’s written 10 books (I believe) on PL/SQL and he makes a huge amount of his work (research, papers, code etc) available for free on his website. This was quite an advanced topic and (once again) it really deserved a longer time-slot since it overran. I really enjoyed this session, I’m already familiar with collections, varrays and some of the other things Steven was discussing, however I came away from the session with a whole list of things I’m going to investigate and play with once I get back home. After the session, I had a quick chat with Steven and asked him a couple of rambling questions (apologies Steven!) and obviously had to ask him to pose for a picture (which he was more than happy to do). That’s one thing I love about OpenWorld, everyone is so approachable…go up to them and ask them questions!
Well…tomorrow is another busy day, so perhaps another post will come along soon!