Monthly Archives: November 2009


With UKOUG Tech and EBS conference in Birmingham a couple of weeks away, I thought I’d see if anyone is interested in an APEX Meetup during the conference.

Usually at most conferences I attend Dimitri Gielis and myself try to arrange a very informal gathering of APEX-minded people in a pub. It’s a great time to network with old and new friends away from the conference halls, particularly if it’s one of your first events.

So, if you’re interested in attending an APEX Meetup, add a comment below (including your preferred night) and we’ll try and sort out an evening which suits most people.

Designing for 800×600?

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard people say “The site must be designed to work in 800×600 resolution”. Now there are a few cases where this definitely is a real requirement, however often it’s more of a case that people don’t want to potentially exclude people from their site (and if it’s a commercial site why wouldn’t you want to appeal to the widest possible audience?).

However, how many people really use an 800×600 resolution these days? Out of interest I took a look at the statistics from my blog (the one you’re reading right now) for yesterday (I posted a new post yesterday so it would be interesting to see the stats for the new views just for yesterday rather than over the entire lifetime of the site).

Browser Resolutions

So, whilst I’m not trying to pretend that these figures are representative of any other sites out there. They highlight a couple of things to me.

1) Nobody visited my site using 800×600 resolution.

2) The smallest resolution was 320×396 (probably an iPhone or other mobile device). After that the next smallest was 1024×768.

3) There are quite a lot of variations in browser resolution, more than I expected really.

So, what’s my point here? Well…I don’t really have one….other than –

1) Needing to support 800×600 is very different to designing the site in 800×600. In other words it’s no bad thing to have your site gracefully degrade to working nicely in 800×600, but I certainly wouldn’t make the starting design 800×600, otherwise you’d spending effort where there seems to be least reward.

2) 1024×768 is now becoming over-shadowed by higher resolutions. Most laptops these days support higher resolutions than that, let alone desktops. Most developers I know have multiple monitors too.

So, don’t be afraid of challenging the requirement of “We must design for 800×600″…how many people are *really* using it? Let’s stamp it out now…

Increasing Scalability with Oracle Application Express

Yesterday, at the UKOUG APEX SIG (which I’ll post a follow-up about shortly), I did a quick 1 hour presentation on Increasing Scalability with Oracle Application Express, I touched on (and demonstrated) quite a few different techniques in which you can make you APEX applications more scalable (and/or just as importantly, reducing the overhead of your APEX applications).

Today, I received an email from someone who attended that presentation. I have asked their permission to post their message –

“I just thought I would let you know of the performance improvements I have got since your presentation yesterday”

and what were those improvements?

“The updateable grid has always been slow to run and was taking 1min 2seconds ( I couldn’t think how to improve it without completely redesigning it), with the changes this has been reduced to 6 seconds.”

and the difference in the production system –

[table id=2 /]

That’s quite an improvement from the users perspective, something which used to take over 30 seconds is now well under a second.

From my perspective, it’s great to know that some people were inspired to use what they learned to make some significant changes which will ultimately make their end users happier (and we’re all end users of one system or another right?).

At the UKOUG conference in a few weeks time, I’m actually going to be presenting a 2 hour Masterclass on the same topic (which allows me to go into more depth, more demos and more aspects than an hour allows).


Just a quick note to mention that on Wednesday I’ll be at the (2nd!) APEX SIG meeting at the Oracle City Office in London, it looks like it’s going to be a packed day (already sold out sorry!) full of APEX sessions. I’m very happy that something ‘official’ is now being held in the UK for APEX and that so many people are involved and supporting it.

Secondly, time flies…UKOUG is right around the corner now (30th November – 2nd December). There are lots of great APEX sessions planned –

[table id=1 /]

If you didn’t spot it, I’m doing 2 sessions, Dispelling Myths about Application Express and also a 2 hour masterclass on Building Scalable Applications with Oracle Application Express (which I believe should be interesting to *anyone* developing with APEX, not just those people who are developing large scale applications).

We are also going to hold an APEX round-table on Tuesday (1st December) at 12:55-13:55, where you can come along and ask any (APEX related!) questions you have.

It’s interesting to see that Oracle are taking this event seriously too, with David Peake, Anthony Rayner and Hilary Farrell from the APEX Development team all attending (and presenting).

Now, I just need to book my hotel!