Thursday, July 01, 2010

ODTUG: Tuesday

One of the highlights of todays conference was the "Plug-In Showcase" where Anton, Dietmar, Dan, Dimitri and Doug each showed a plugin they wrote the last couple of days. They showed some real simple ones, like a hover function up to more complex things like a Netlfix style drag and drop functionality. The conclusion is; Once you get the hang of it, writing Plug-Ins isn't that hard - and using good Plug-Ins is very simple. So Plug-Ins enhance your development speed dramatically and can be an enormous improvement to your end-user experience.
One other session was about changing the look-and-feel of your APEX page, using the templates and changing the css. The new Theme 4 in APEX 4.0 is even shipped with PSD (Photoshop) files that contain the sprites (a collection of images within one file) used within that template. You can edit these files in order to change the look of the buttons, regions and whatever else there's on your page.
Another nice one was "Oracle Trace Data for Developers" by Cary Millsap. The core message is: Don't purely rely on your tkprof output to analyze your performance (issues), because tkprof leaves out a lot of information that is in the raw data of the trace file, You might have to read and understand the trace file itself to get to the bottom of a problem.
Martin d'Souza did a a very nice job in his presentation about using the APEX Dictionary to improve your user interface by changing the way APEX shows the help, error handling etc. All done very nicely. Most (if not all) solutions also are available on his blog.
There even was a evening session today (visiting ODTUG is really hard work): A live PL/SQL Challenge by Steven Feuerstein. 10 nasty questions on PL/SQL had to be answered. When Steven showed the answers it now and then became more a Steven F Challenge, because some answers where not that obvious and clear and led to a lot of discussion - which was very good and fun to do! And of course congrats to Alex Nuijten who won the 500-dollar first prize. I ended up 7th and received a copy of Steven's lates book: PL/SQL for 11gR2 - 2 kilo added to my luggage!
After this a part of the Dutch contingent (Iloon, Learco, Alex and myself) went out for some fine Lebanese food. We closed off the day with a(nother) few drinks at the bar.
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