27th November, 2006

Who Do I Sue?

Filed under: General — admin @ 2:09 pm

Via John Naughton comes an interesting analysis of the new Microsoft Vista EULA.

Whenever I suggest using Free or Open Source software in a professional capacity my colleagues or managers usually claim that its not possible because it isn’t backed by a ‘reputable’ company. What they mean by this is that there isn’t anyone to sue if the software somehow misbehaves and causes some form of loss. As Mark Rasch so eloquently argues in his article if you’ve agreed to this kind of agreement you have no rights anyway. At any point your ‘rights’ to use software licensed in this fashion can be taken from you, no questions asked. And just try suing for any sort of loss caused by software licensed in this fashion.

If there isn’t a better reason to use Free/Open Source Software I don’t know of it – but please feel free to educate me via the comments.

The next time my boss tells me that we can’t use Python or PostgreSQL because there isn’t anyone to sue I’ll print out a copy of the article and give it to him. Why paper? Because he doesn’t read anything on a computer screen.

23rd November, 2006

November Sydney Python Pub Night

Filed under: General — admin @ 12:26 pm

The notice is a bit short, but if anyone reading this is in the harbour city and fancies a cold beverage or two this evening we are getting together from 6:30pm at the Grace Hotel.

Details are in the meeting post at upcoming.

8th November, 2006

Oracle Warehouse Builder Not Much Cop

Filed under: General — admin @ 3:09 pm

This won’t come as a surprise to people who have used the tool but I’m getting to the end of my tether with Oracle Warehouse Builder. Architecturally it stinks.

We’ve got a number of mappings which we use to populate a reporting mart in our Oracle Applications system. We are upgrading our Oracle Applications sytem. Part of this is a database upgrade to the latest shiny Oracle database.

Because we’ve done that we have to upgrade from Oracle Warehouse Builder 9.2 to 10.1. I’ve upgraded the repository successfully, but every time we create a new applications environment we have to install the full version of OWB onto the server and run one script against the target database to upgrade the runtime repository.

In this age of network ubiquity Oracle are forcing me to install a full server product. My DBA is not going to be a happy bunny.

It wouldn’t be so much of a problem if this was an isolated issue, but every time we clone our environment or want to make even a simple change to a mapping OWB just gets in the way. My back of a fag packet estimate is that I would have saved about fifty person days if we had just developed our extracts in plain old fashioned PL/SQL.

Update: I stand corrected. There is, as referenced on the first page of the installation and upgrade manual, a script to upgrade a runtime repository in place. You’ll be unsurprised to hear that we can’t get it to work. Or that Oracle’s support site (MetaLink) has nothing on the error messages we are seeing.

7th November, 2006

Unit Testing PL/SQL

Filed under: General — admin @ 3:54 pm

I’ve been getting rather test infected recently and it feels good. I’ve been using py.test to write unit tests for gerald which had been rather neglected of late. Actually putting the tests together helped me figure out what I need to work on next, more news on that in the near future (I hope).

Emboldened by this spark of activity I am trying to introduce my colleagues to the delights of unit testing. Because they are predominantly PL/SQL developers I need a native unit testing toolkit to get them started. Exhaustive searching brings me to utPLSQL. Which looks good, but for the life of me I can’t get it to install into my 10gR2 database. Has anyone got any pointers to help me out?

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