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February 2019

/proc/meminfo formatted for humans

Here is a small awk script I use to format memory information on Linux:

Introducing I.T. to an Elderly Relative

Introducing an older person to the connected world can be a challenge. So I thought I would describe my recent experiences in introducing my elderly mother to I.T and the internet. Each such situation will be different of course, depending on the prior experience of the person and the skills you believe they have. I’m going to run through what I think are the main initial considerations. I knew from the start it was going to be a particular challenge with my mother, so I think she is a good example. Hopefully, for many the task will be a little easier…

19c Auto Index: the dictionary views

The abbreviation AI may be misleading but it has nothing to do with Artificial Intelligence. And you may have been surprised that the ‘A’ means ‘Automatic’ rather than ‘Autonomous’ as the latter is constantly used to tag any new feature in the database since 18c. But this difference is really important: ‘Autonomous’ supposes that you don’t have anything to do and don’t even need to be notified about what happened. On the opposite, ‘Automatic’ means that some things are done without your intervention, in order to help you, but you are still in charge of managing them. And you need to look at the dictionary views, to be aware of the findings, recommendations, and implementations. Automatic Indexing is an evolution of the Advisors that were introduced since 10g and, in the same way, it provides many dictionary views to understand its activity.

19c Easy Connect

When TCP/IP was the protocol used mostly everywhere, Oracle introduced EZCONNECT naming method to avoid long connection strings with parentheses everywhere. They said that it was a way to avoid tnsnames.ora but that’s not completely true:

  • you can use full connection strings without a tnsnames.ora
  • you still need a tnsnames.ora for more complex connection strings

But the idea was to replace:




and even reduce it to a simple hostname when using the default port and default service name.

I use it a lot when connecting manually, but as soon as there’s a need to add multiple hosts for transparent failover or load balancing, or to add some additional parameters, the full connection string is required.

Pricks Upon the Soul of Women’s Ambition

There were two trends in topics that repeatedly came up at RMOUG around women in attendance that I felt deserved a deeper investment of time. As I spend a significant amount of time in a more progressive atmosphere, I find I’m even more aware of them than previously. I hope that my words of support and any advice I offered was helpful to those who sought me out this week.

Be Happy With What You Have” or “You’re Never Satisfied” Trend

Worth the wait

Yes, I know it’s been awhile Smile

Yes, I know people have been angry at the delay Smile

But, can we put that behind us, and rejoice in the fact…that YES

It’s here!

Yes, 18c XE for Windows is now available.

19c DG Broker export/import configuration

This is something I wanted for a long time: be able to save a broker configuration to be able to re-configure it if needed. What I usually do is maintain a script with all commands. What I dreamed was being able to export the configuration as a script. What we have now, in 19c, is the ability to export/import the configuration as a .xml file.

Actually, the configuration is already stored as XML in the broker configuration files (the .dat ones):

Unique Indexes Force Hints To Be “Ignored” Part II (One Of The Few)

In Part I, I showed a demo of how the introduction of a Unique Index appears to force a hint to be “ignored”. This is a classic case of what difference a Unique Index can make in the CBO deliberations. So what’s going on here? When I run the first, un-hinted query: we notice something a […]

Statistics on Object tables

Way back in Oracle 8.0 we introduced the “Object-Relational” database, which was “the next big thing” in the database community back then. Every vendor was scrambling to show just how cool their database technology was with the object-oriented programming paradigm.

Don’t get me wrong – using the Oracle database object types and features associated with them has made my programming life a lot easier over the years. But for me, it’s always been pretty much limited to that, ie, programming, not actually using the object types in a database design as such. Nevertheless, using objects as columns, or even creating tables of objects is supported by the database. For example, I can create a object type of MY_OBJECT (which could itself be made up of objects) and then have a table, not with that object as a column, but actually a table of that object.

Oracle 19c Hint Usage reporting

One reason why we try to avoid hints in our queries is that it is very difficult to use correctly. No error is raised when there’s an incorrect syntax or when the hint cannot be used semantically. 19c dbms_xplan has an important enhancement as it can report hint usage, at least for optimizer hints.

By default, DBMS_XPLAN in the default TYPICAL format will report only invalid hints: