Monday, December 05, 2005

Aargh! HTMLDB is giving me JDeveloper flashbacks!

When I first started working with JDeveloper 3.0 in 2000 - we were not so much early as lonely adopters of BC4J (at least on this side of the pond) - the documentation was in a parlous state. We could get a first cut something working using the wizards, but as soon as we needed to go off piste we were lost. The in-built help text was rubbish; virtually nothing at all on BC4J, which had been introduced into 3.0 and had no link with any existing Oracle technology. All OTN offered were some tutorials and, later on, some How Tos; inevitably these never quite covered the areas that were troubling us the most.

Having spent a couple of days wrassling with HTMLDB I find I'm in the same predicament. Sure I can build straightforward Create/Edit/Delete pages quite nicely but now I want to build an integrated application and ... it's not easy. The document consists of tutorials and How Tos, which - you know what's coming - don't quite show me how to do what I want to do. The problem is the documentation doesn't seem to be written by people with a lot of experience in writing form-type applications. The two day tutorial doesn't even mention Master-Detail forms, which I would have thought is a fairly basic; even spreadsheets frequently have some header info.

Of course, the HTMLDB forum seems to have a lot more answered posts than I recall the JDeveloper forum got back in the days. OTN has quite a few sample applications, so perhaps I just need to install all of them until I find an example. And there's also blogs. So no doubt the information I need is out there, somewhere. It's just finding it that's going to be the issue. At least I hope so. I've been trying to build an LOV that has its query restricted by an existing value on the page; the resources on the interweb have offered me at least three different implementations , none of which worked the way I wanted.

I'm just stressing out here probably because I'm trying to be too clever too soon. I obviously need to stop being an active user and spend two days going through the tutorials, building applications I don't need, in order to get a handle on the basics. But with a heavy heart I'm afraid I have to tell my project manager to start cranking out the Excel again. It's not going to be as easy to implement his spreadsheet in HTMLDB as I thought. Blast.


Blogger APC said...

I have discovered the HTMLDB docs for v2.0:

Now all I have to do is figure whtehr there is something similar for 1.6.1...

5 December 2005 at 08:04:00 GMT-8  
Blogger APC said...

By following the breadcrumbs from that link I discovered that the 10g document set does include a User Guide for HTMLDB 1.6.1. Hurrah! Memo to self: never blog in a state of indignation.

6 December 2005 at 02:14:00 GMT-8  
Anonymous Andy Todd said...

Although my considered opinion after mucking about with HtmlDb for a while is that PHP is looking quite attractive.

9 December 2005 at 03:17:00 GMT-8  
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