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There is life in the old dog yet… March 14, 2011

Posted by mwidlake in Blogging.

My Blog has been unforgivably quiet of late. All I can say in my defence is “work”. I’ve blogged about this before, and mentioned it in presentations, but most of us are too tied up in the day job to test things properly, let alone blog or in other ways present on how things work. We fix the problem in front of us and move on to the next “critical, absolute priority 1A plus, must-be-fixed-today” issue. So like most of you, that has been my life for…ohh, months.
{I makes me even more thankful to those who continually find the time to test properly and blog about what they have found, on top of their “earning” work}

However, my working life is looking like it will return to a more reasonable balance soon.

So, this blog post is a statement of intent that I WILL be blogging again in the next week or so. OK, so this post is not of any use to anyone reading, but it means I now feel morally obliged to follow up on the statement (and that is actually the intent of this blog post).

I’m going to blog on two technical areas.

One is gathering Stats, which I am utterly sick of and tired of doing in my working life. So I figure if I tell anyone who will listen all I know about gathering system, fixed object, dictionary and object stats and give some hints as to what I have come to think of as methods and techniques for doing so, I might not have to think about it any more. I can tell people to read my blog and not hire me to do it for them. Maybe a career limiting move but I was never that bright πŸ™‚

The second topic will be Index Organised Tables (IOTs). They are great. Ohhh, they have drawbacks and concerns, after all no tuning trick is For Free and I know one person (who I shall refer to only as Dave) who’s career was almost destroyed due to an Oracle 9 to 10 “feature” on IOTs involving corruption. But IOTs are {in my opinion} a vastly under-used feature of Oracle and could be useful to many Oracle sites. If anyone wants help with them, I’ll let you hire me for that and I will come and help gladly. So long as no bl00dy stats are involved πŸ™‚

So, having drawn my own line in the sand to do some Technical Blogs (I actually have enough waffle-based Friday Philosophy topics to last 2 years but have promised myself to balance them with decent technical posts) I better go and write them.



1. Neil Chandler - March 14, 2011

The best way to hit bugs in Oracle is to combine new features with IOT’s. I’m sure they don’t test features together, and the (relative) low use of IOT’s makes them ideal candidates to chew you up and spit you out.

It’s about time you got back to blogging. Reading them will give me something to do at work. ;o)

Right, back to the SAN testing…

2. Pete Scott - March 14, 2011

I love IOTs… there is so much you can do with them with a bit of out of box thinking, skinny tables aside. So I will love to hear your take on them.
Your stalker base is waiting for more blogs πŸ™‚

mwidlake - March 14, 2011

Yeah, I realised your leg had healed when I noticed that skuttling shadow behind me again…

3. Niall Litchfield - March 14, 2011

I disagree with Neil. The best way to find bugs is to combine CURSOR_SHARING=SIMILAR with almost any new feature you care to mention πŸ™‚ IOTs are good too I’ll admit – but I bet hash clusters are better.

Looking forward to the blogs Martin, but this much I know, you can’t avoid stats gathering however many words of common sense you write.

mwidlake - March 14, 2011

I think Neil could have stopped at simply “combine new features”, with the caveate of “new” being anything since Oracle 7…
I find “big” is a good route to “broken” too.
Niall, you can’t beat single table hash clusters for absolute response time on a single row… Or can you? And yes you probably can’t avoid gathering stats for any large or complex DB, but I just want to get to a point wher you won’t need to ask ME about it (not that you ever do, you probably know more about it than I do!)

4. Niall Litchfield - March 14, 2011

I didn’t mean you can’t avoid gathering stats (well JL could probably set them but I digress…) I meant however often you tell people things about stats, setup regimes, etc etc you will always be asked about it. I commend you for trying, but a bit like init.ora parameters (*cough* db_block_size *cough*) – you’ll always get asked. Sorry.

mwidlake - March 16, 2011

Your are probably right – could you not have left me in my little bubble of hope a little longer?
BTW what is the right block size for my DB? And I’m giving you no more information than that.

5. PdV - March 16, 2011

Lemme join the stalker crowd.
And Bring on the IOTs!

mwidlake - March 16, 2011

Piet, you nearly got lost in the Spam filter due to the link. Good job I caught it as it is a good page of information, I might even skip writing my own intro and just point people to it:-)

6. rnm1978 - March 16, 2011

Hi Martin,

I’ve been missing your Friday philosophy posts – if work overtakes things again then at least post those for us πŸ™‚

Interested to read your stuff around stats. Any thoughts on incremental stats in 11g?

mwidlake - March 16, 2011

Hi Robin,

Thanks for the support. I’ll try and keep the Friday Philosophies coming. My thoughts on incremental stats on 11g is “nice”, but I need to try them out more. I’ve worked with them on and my thoughts were “nice…try”. Not something I was happy living with.

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