OpenOffice Dead, Too

2. June, 2011

After the huge success with Hudson, Oracle boldly continues in its way to k…er…save OSS projects by dum…donating OpenOffice at Apache.

Remember: Jenkins strives, Hudson is caught in the gears of a long and tedious legal process called “IP due diligence.” Something OSS developers couldn’t care less. So Jenkins pumps release after release every week. Hudson … well, we’ll see. Sometime. Maybe. When all the dubious “IP” has been replaced, removed or at least moved to plugins.

Since this worked so well, Apache gets the OpenOffice project after all important committers left to join LibreOffice.

We have to see this through the corporate lens: Oracle, a multi-billion dollar company is used to make tough decisions and see them through. Just use their database and you will instinctively feel their priorities: The product is powerful yet clumsy. A lot of things could be solved in a much more simple way. But if they did that, it would cost Oracle money. As it is, it just costs those who use it. Note that these are not the people who made the decision to buy Oracle. They just follow the orders from people who see the world through shiny leaflets.

So LibreOffice committed the most horrible crime possible: They ignored Oracle. They came, saw and left without ever looking back. Outrageous! If you make $26 billion revenue, you can’t be wrong. Impossible!

Still … I’d be surprised if there will ever be a release of OpenOffice that anyone will care about.

Related articles:


Oracle sells OpenOffice 3.3

17. December, 2010
OpenOffice

Image via Wikipedia

Wanna buy OO? Oracle gets in line with all the rip-offs who sell you open source software and, as a special bonus, it sells you a crippled version: For home users, you get a copy that supports just one language, one OS, no SDK, no MySQL connector. Oh, there is forum based support!

In which way is that better than the download from OpenOffice.org which I get with more features and for free?

Well, there isn’t a release on the project’s official website. I guess Oracle redefined the meaning of open source software: It’s just the source, now. Use your own compiler.

LibreOffice, here I come. They also don’t have a release but at least I feel that they’re honest and show some basic respect.


ORA-01461: can bind a LONG value only for insert into a LONG column tips

23. August, 2010

Should you ever encounter this message:

ORA-01461: can bind a LONG value only for insert into a LONG column tips

then chances are you tried to insert more than 4096 characters at once.

Again the price for useless error messages goes to … Oracle! 😉

To add insult to injury, I couldn’t find anything useful related to this error with Oracle’s own site search.


Jazoon 2010 Day 1

2. June, 2010

So, this is the great wrap-up of Jazoon 2010, day 1. What did I have?

The keynote by Danny Coward

Java SE and JavaFX: The Road Ahead. After the acquisition by Oracle, everyone was curious as to what happens to Java. Unfortunately, the slides aren’t online, yet but from my faint memory, we might get closures after all and with a sane syntax, too. Plus all the stuff mentioned on Sun’s JDK 7 page. ATM, this stuff is a bit fluent and it’s hard to get a definitive list but something is moving at least.

From my point of view, closures and all the other language features are too late for the Java language (important companies won’t upgrade to Java 7 and time soon, some of them even cling to 1.4!) but the implementation in the main language of the Java VM will allow to build better and faster non-Java languages on top of the VM. Now if the VM would include a compiler API to build JNI code for native libraries on the fly, we would have a worthy challenger for .NET. Yeah … I know. A man can have dreams, okay?

And there was some talk about JavaFX. It seems that the technology is starting to reach its beta-phase, soon (see my notes for the second day). He showed one demo: Geo View of Vancouver 2010. It’s a world map with which country won how many medals and when you open one of the blobs, you get the names of the athletes in a fan-out widget. You can click on the name to get more information (like the photo) or you can compare the results against countries with the same number of athletes or population or closest GDP or just closest geographically. It gives a nice example how to visualize a lot of data and wade through them intuitively.

Client / Server 2.0 with Java and Flex by James Ward

James showed how you can use Flash and a Java server to build really nice web apps. He showed several examples: A few lines of code to build a UI which runs on an Android mobile phone, in the web browser and on the desktop. All with really nice performance. One was the insurance company demo. Just enter some arbitrary data until you come to the damage details and incident report. They show new ways to enter information which make the tool usable to anyone who can recognize a car and a top-view of a street.

If you like what you see, you should probably take the Tour de Flex. It shows off a whole lot of stuff. Also try the Tour de Flex Dashboard. It shows you in real time who looks at what part of the TdF right now.

Blueprint – Modern Dependency Injection for OSGi by Costin Leau

Another DI system, this time tied to OSGi. Nothing really exciting here. The talk was okay but the speaker soon lost my interest.

One thing to note: Eclipse 4 comes with a different DI system. I wonder if they will drop that in favor of the new OSGi standard in 4.1.

Patterns and Best Practices for building large GWT applications by Heiko Braun

I went to see this but quickly realized that I’ve heard the talk before at the JUGS. Here is the link to the slides. As a result of his experience he started project errai which collects best practices to build large GWT applications.

Objects of Value by Kevlin Henney

One of the main weak points on software development is that we don’t know what we’re talking about. When my project manager comes to me and asks “When are you done?” my answer is “Soon” … Right 😉 Or think about strings. Everyone else on the planet calls it “text”.

Obviously, Kevlin had a lot of fun on stage and so had we. In essence, “Objects of Value” or “Value Objects” are even more simple than POJOs (think Integer class). The main reason to use them is to make your code more expressive and readable. Instead of

public User (String name, String firstName, int age, String zipCode, String city)

you (can) create a couple of value objects:

public User (Name name, FirstName firstName, Age age, ZipCode zipCode, City city)

This may sound ridiculous (and it is in this example) but in a lot of places, using String is just a form of bad laziness (the kind of laziness which leads to maintenance problems later). One of the advantages of the approach above is that you notice when you mix last and first name because the compiler will tell you. The major disadvantage is that it leads to a class explosion. Not to an instance explosion since we just replace a String value object with something that tells us what we have, though.

In addition to that, Java isn’t really meant for these kinds of objects. There is a lot of boiler plate code to define value objects and to use them. But if you have a system that is sufficiently complex and you use a value with a unit in many places (think of a currency value), you should really consider to replace the String+BigDecimal combination with a value object.

Many important points of his talk can be found in the paper Objects of Value on his homepage.

This concludes the first part of my Jazoon 2010 report. Go on with part 2.


Finding unindexed foreign key columns

15. December, 2009

If you’re using Oracle and you have tables with foreign keys, then you must remember to add indexes to all the columns in the referenced tables (i.e. the foreign tables). If your schema has more than two tables, it’s hard to make sure all the necessary indexes exist. Fret no more and let Oracle do (most of) the work for you:

select table_name, constraint_name,
       cname1 || nvl2(cname2,','||cname2,null) ||
       nvl2(cname3,','||cname3,null) || nvl2(cname4,','||cname4,null) ||
       nvl2(cname5,','||cname5,null) || nvl2(cname6,','||cname6,null) ||
       nvl2(cname7,','||cname7,null) || nvl2(cname8,','||cname8,null)
              columns
    from ( select b.table_name,
                  b.constraint_name,
                  max(decode( position, 1, column_name, null )) cname1,
                  max(decode( position, 2, column_name, null )) cname2,
                  max(decode( position, 3, column_name, null )) cname3,
                  max(decode( position, 4, column_name, null )) cname4,
                  max(decode( position, 5, column_name, null )) cname5,
                  max(decode( position, 6, column_name, null )) cname6,
                  max(decode( position, 7, column_name, null )) cname7,
                  max(decode( position, 8, column_name, null )) cname8,
                  count(*) col_cnt
             from (select substr(table_name,1,30) table_name,
                          substr(constraint_name,1,30) constraint_name,
                          substr(column_name,1,30) column_name,
                          position
                     from sys.user_cons_columns ) a,
                  sys.user_constraints b
            where a.constraint_name = b.constraint_name
              and b.constraint_type = 'R'
            group by b.table_name, b.constraint_name
         ) cons
   where col_cnt > ALL
           ( select count(*)
               from sys.user_ind_columns i
              where i.table_name = cons.table_name
                and i.column_name in (cname1, cname2, cname3, cname4,
                                      cname5, cname6, cname7, cname8 )
                and i.column_position <= cons.col_cnt
              group by i.index_name
           )

Isn’t it a beauty? Thanks to Tom.