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Oracle Sponge -- Now Moved To Wordpress

Please use http://oraclesponge.wordpress.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Oracle Wiki at Dizwell

Howard's Wiki at Dizwell is up and running, and seems to be off to a very good start considering that this is a pretty new thing for many of us. I hope that everyone will be contributing -- these things only survive if we give it the oxygen of our participation, and I know that everyone has something to share.

The text formatting takes a little getting used to but at the bottom of the edit pages there are brief tips that will get you through the experience pretty painlessly.

Are you still here? Go, go ....

Friday, January 20, 2006

Communication Skills

Public speaking often being in part of the job, here's the help you may like.


Why We Fight


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

An Odd Form Of Flattery

I think that if someone is going to copy your work to their own blog then the least they might do is provide a link to the original source ... oh wait, no the least they might do is spell your name right.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Law Is An Ass

So it's now illegal to anonymously annoy someone on the internet. Sounds ridiculous, don't it? Well, not according to the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act, which was cunningly attached to a must-pass funding bill for the Justice Department (a lovely example of the dysfunctionality of the US legislative system).

Read the whole stupid story here.

boy, I for one am glad that I never annoy people on the internet ... anonymously, that is.

Friday, January 06, 2006

RMOUG Training Days 2006

The RMOUG Training Days 2006 are set for February 15-16 at the Colorado Convention Center. I always end up missing these events due to last minute emergencies, but this year I'm pretty determined to make it.

Hey, if nothing else it'll be worth a few blog entries, and that's nothing to be sniffed at.

Anyone planning on going?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

(Almost) Error Free Code

Picked up from Slashdot, an article at IEEE about a British software house delivering code with less than one error per ten thousand SLOCs, albeit at a premium of up to 50% higher costs than regular development. Their "secret" is to return to the roots of software engineering by describing the application in terms of a a formal specification language Z ("zed") based on set theory and predicate logic before subjecting it to mathematical analysis to identify ambiguities and inconsistencies, and only then converting it to code (which itself becomes a relatively trivial task). Incidentally, they code in Spark, a descendant of Ada, and if you follow that link to the Wikipedia article you'll see an example of some excellent commenting techniques under "Annotation Examples".

Accurate and complete requirements gathering is emphasised, as is prototyping as a means of requirements feedback to the customer. In an example development described in the article the developed software showed just four faults in the first year of operation out of 100,000 SLOC.

I found the IEEE article rather inspiring, although at the end the comments on the willingness of programmers to use formal methods and logic are depressingly familiar.

There are more details in a presentation by Praxis here.