Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Oracle Blooper

Well, instead of assimilating the suitable, albeit plentiful, Oracle manuals to cover the material required for the Oracle 7.3 -> Oracle 9i upgrade certification exam I opted to search for a single resource. I came across a third-party study tool that was recommended by Oracle and seemed to foot the bill. Very much to my surprise the material was disjointed, loaded with typographical errors and often flat out wrong.

I was willing to forgive the copious typographical mistakes per/page (which approached the Golden Ratio mind you) as I could deduce the intentions. I could stomach the disjointed word salads and sparse information. But I refused to read another page after encountering a heinously blatant, careless and nonsensical bit of misinformation. How could I possibly continue to use this material as a study reference if I could not trust the content? To the misinformation at hand, the material states the following verbatim:

PGA_USED_MEM - The process is using PGA memory.
PGA_ALLOC_MEM- The process has been allocated PGA memory.
PGA_MAX_MEM - The process has been allocated maximum memory.
PGA_GIBBERISH - The process has found gibberish in the PGA and wishes to purge. (OK, this was my invention)

I scratched my head. Re-read, scratched head some more. Finished beer and reached for another. Nothing seemed to alleviate my consternation. I was well aware of these attributes of v$process and was not so much concerned with the incorrectness, as I knew their meaning. It was the gross negligence that left my jaw drooping for a minute.

The values for these attributes are NOT Boolean as you well know. You don't query v$process and find a Y or N associated with the values for these attributes. The Oracle documentation defines these attributes in a very straightforward manner. Is there any other way?

PGA_USED_MEM number PGA memory currently used by the process
PGA_ALLOC_MEM number PGA memory currently allocated by the process (including free PGA memory not yet released to the operating system by the server process)
PGA_MAX_MEM number Maximum PGA memory ever allocated by the process

Simply stated, I was shocked that the author(s) and editor(s) put such little thought into the material and subsequent proof reading. Actually, I think the author's brain was tied behind his back while writing this material. If one aspires to put together training material and includes attribute definitions that are pre-defined for you in the Oracle documentation set, might I recommend taking a cursory glance at said documentation? You can't just feed me a heaping helping of documentation rubbish without expecting me to pitch the kindling into the nearest can - I know, I've seen me do it! Did I mention the material is several fold more expensive than any of Tom Kyte's or Jonathan Lewis' books? Lesson learned.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Richard said...

Have you contacted them? I've found the same thing with several items I have downloaded from Yahoo Oracle groups... but I can't complain as they were posted and available for free. I'm like you though, once there is a mistake I can't trust that material anymore.

If you paid a hefty price, contact them and let them know. If they don't want to work with you contact Oracle University, or whoever, and let them know you will not use or recommend this product.

Best of luck on your upgrade!

6/22/2006 11:23 AM  
Blogger Eric S. Emrick said...

Hey, that's good advice Richard. I think I will at least try to contact them and make them aware of the situation. Thanks.

6/26/2006 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you should hold off complaining about material like this unless you are willing to name the author. For example, there is an author who has a great RMAN book who has done other not so stellar work at times. One might wonder if that was who you are directing these comments about. If you named the author it is much more clear.

6/28/2006 8:03 PM  
Blogger Eric S. Emrick said...

Anonymous said...
Maybe you should hold off complaining about material like this unless you are willing to name the author. For example, there is an author who has a great RMAN book who has done other not so stellar work at times. One might wonder if that was who you are directing these comments about. If you named the author it is much more clear.


Eric S. Emrick said...

Hmmm. That is the pot calling the kettle black. "For example, there is an author who has a great RMAN book who has done other not so stellar work at times...". Who is YOUR mystery author? Sheesh.

Actually the author is not listed, as I suspect the training material was put together by a group of people not just one person. But, even if I could I would probably not call out the source so directly. They might produce bad material but my brief review was rather biting.

6/29/2006 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A semi-review of something without noting what it was exactly or the authors ... are you a mystery writer?

6/29/2006 7:12 PM  
Blogger daspeac said...

I believe you have also heard about the step by step recovery of access database

12/06/2010 4:11 PM  

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