Openworld – Tuesday

Another hectic day today, started with –

“Things you think you know” by Tom Kyte
This was (as you would expect) a superb session, extremely well presented and most of the points struck chords with the audience. If you came along to this session hoping to pickup some great little tuning tips you may have left a bit dissapointed, however if you actually listened to the concepts that Tom was discussing then they were perhaps far more important than knowing about ‘undocumented feature X’. I really enjoyed this one, especially since I corrected the ‘mistake’ of the other session that Tom presented the other day and managed to get a photograph taken this time.
Tom Kyte.jpg
If there’s one thing I picked up from this session (I even wrote it down to remind myself when I get back), it’s to read the Concepts Guide again, since it’s so long since I read it.

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Next it was to a hands on lab session about XQuery and Oracle XMLDB.

Now I’ve done a bit of work with XQuery before, but I signed up for this session so that I could learn some ‘new tricks’. Unfortunately this was probably one of the more dissapointing sessions I was at. Sorry for being critical, but hey if you don’t give truthful feedback then there’s no point giving feedback at all. We were all given our own PC’s and a handbook and told to follow the (pretty detailed) steps in the handbook to build up a sample application.

The issue was that the handbook listed the steps for connecting to a RAC installation, whereas we all had local installs of Oracle, therefore all of the URL’s published in the handbook (for connecting to Enterprise Manager etc) were wrong. Secondly, the usernames and passwords used to connect to the database were different from the ones published in the handbook. Ok, so these first two issues weren’t really huge ones, but it did mean that once I got to page 4 of the handbook and I couldn’t login I (along with many many other people) had to stick my hand-up to get some help. The biggest issue, by far, for me was that the handbook also used older versions of the software we were using (such as JDeveloper), so many of the screenshots in the handbook simply didn’t match what I was seeing on screen, which again caused problems.

Like I say, sorry to be critical, my first OpenWorld has been superb so far, but would it really have been so difficult to either update the handbook with the new screenshots, update the passwords and also the URL’s. Or failing that, just used the older version of JDeveloper so that the screenshots matched?

Anyway, next up it was Real World Performance Roundtable this was a two part session (I attended both parts). It was also extremely interesting, since it was presented by the people from Oracle who work on these areas. One of the ‘highlights’ was when Jonathan Lewis asked a question about freelists and ASM, Jonathan’s experience and knowledge about Oracle is practically legendary so I’m not sure I would have liked to have been on the receiving end of a question from him. Maybe it was a trick of the light, but I’m sure I saw the colour drain from the panels faces when Jonathan’s hand went in the air.

Final session of the day was “CERN: Building Real-World solutions with Oracle Application Express” which was presented by Giovanni Chierico and introduced by Joel Kallman. I enjoyed this session a lot, it’s always interesting to see how people use Apex and obviously CERN is a huge organisation so anyone who has any doubts about the suitability of Apex for production applications should really take note of the fact that a place like CERN is using it. Giovanni was a very good presenter and covered not only the things they liked about Apex but also some of the things they didn’t like (some balance is always good).
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(left to right, Joel Kallman, Giovanni Chierico. Picture taken by Dimitri Gielis).

After the CERN session, it was time for a quick break (and rest my weary feet) before heading to Blogger Meetup which was held at the Thirsty Bear bar (which took some finding, although typically when Dimitri stopped to ask someone directions we were about 100 feet away from it. I have to admit, I feel a bit of a ‘fraud’ going to a Bloggers meetup, since it’s only recently that I’ve started writing my blog and don’t have that much ‘content’ to it yet, especially compared to the other people who were there. I met up with a lot of people whose blogs I’ve read for quite some time, I’d already met up with Tim Hall earlier in the week and he was his usual, very friendly self and we again chatted for quite a while. I also met Mark Rittman, Eddie Awad (who is a very nice guy, very very funny too), Andrew Clark and many many more (sorry for not listing everyone). Mark Rittman has some good photos on his blog

Blogger Meetup.jpg

After we spent some time at the Blogger Meetup a few of us headed over to the Appreciation Night with Elton John, well…what can I say about this? If you were there, you’ll know exactly what I mean….if you weren’t there then there’s no way I’ll be able to describe *just* how huge and extravagant this event was. Even the sheer number of coaches that were used to ferry people between the hotels and the Cow Palace was impressive. This event was absolutely huge, I heard a few people saying there were around 28,000 people there which sounded like a lot, however once we got into the ‘main arena’ to see Elton (or rather Sir Elton) playing I could easily believe there were 28,000 people there.

The food was absolutely amazing too, I never once saw one of the ‘food stations’ (for lack of a better word) that wasn’t piled high with food, the organisation of it all was really really impressive. Free drinks and free food whenever you want it, what’s not to like?

I did try and take some pictures of Elton John, but none of them came out very well, so here’s one of Dimitri’s pictures (who I’m naming ‘Official OOW Photographer’).
Elton John.jpg
All in all, it was a fantastic day, and an amazing evening….I enjoyed it a lot.

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