Thursday, September 20, 2007

What's up with Oracle WTF?

Last week William Robertson invited me to join the Oracle WTF crew for a drink. This was quite a daunting prospect. They've known each other - socially and as co-workers - for a long time. They're all very sharp, both in Oracle and in communication skills. In short I felt a bit like the new boy at school being invited to join the gang of the coolest kids. Or at least the snarkiest.

As it turned out only William and Adrian Billington could make it, which was a manageable number. This was the first time I had actually met William or Adrian in meatspace. However, our paths have crossed on the web and obviously William is a regular in the OTN forums. So we did already kind of know each other. It was a good evening.

One of the things we talked about was the current stasis in the Oracle WTF blog. William et al had started the enterprise in a flurry of excitement and with the blessing of the owner of a code base full of howlers. So initially they had lots of examples to draw on. The problem is, that as contractors, they have to move on to other clients. It is a bad business strategy for them to make fun of their clients code. This is why the original WTF site tends to feature war stories from years ago and guarantees the anonymity of its submitters.

I understand this completely. As as consultant I operate under the same strictures. True, the other day I did write about a system which had been written for my current client. But I think putting zeroes instead of nulls in a number column is an understandable design decision. A misguided decision but not WTF material.

The upshot is, Oracle WTF needs contributions. And those contributions will have to come from its readership. So please send your Oracle WTFs to William. He'll be most grateful.

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5 Comments:

Blogger William Robertson said...

Thanks for not mentioning that we arrived late.

In return I'll keep quiet about the fact that you don't like Heroes ;)

22 September 2007 12:34:00 GMT-7  
Blogger APC said...

I'm just grateful you didn't reveal that I spilled soggy tomato down teh front of my shirt :)

Cheers, APC

24 September 2007 01:19:00 GMT-7  
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