Of course you know that Oracle has released 11g Express Edition, still in Beta though. That is probably why I ran into something weird -must be a bug- while playing with it. Here is what I did:
SQL> set echo on
SQL> col "Current_Edition" format a20
SQL> col object_name format a20
SQL> select sys_context('userenv'
3 ) "Current_Edition"
4 from dual
Eight months ago, you could visit www.plsqlchallenge.com and play the daily PL/SQL quiz...and that was it. If you wanted to play the monthly Toadworld PL/SQL quiz, you had to go to a different URL. It was a very limiting and inflexible.
I visited the home page of www.plsqlchallenge.com today and was overjoyed to see this:
Starting next week (starting, in other words, tomorrow!), the PL/SQL Challenge will offer a third weekly quiz (in addition to SQL and APEX), this time with a focus on deductive logic.
Deductive logic lies at the heart of all programming endeavors. Without logic and reason, we would not have, well, just about anything you associate with "civilization" - and certainly there would be no programming. The better you are at deductive logic, the better you will be at writing software.
Somebody was complaining that you couldn’t just get a Yes/No answer from a query. Yes when rows are found and No when rows aren’t found, like an “In-stock” or “Out-of-stock” message combo from a query. He didn’t like having to handle an
Empty set by writing logic in PHP to provide that “Out-of-stock” message.
Oracle 11g introduced “syntax aware” code search facility — PL/Scope. One can look up identifier definitions, usages, exceptions, which is much more sophisticated and targeted search compared to the old way of finding all of the occurrences of a string in the
ALL_SOURCE. Certainly few developers are expected to use PL/Scope À la carte. IDEs, such as SQL Developer, accommodated it within its [object] search.
A player wrote to me this morning:
My lifetime correctness has been around 75% for the last several weeks. Suddenly, when I check it this morning, it's dropped to 67.9%. Something is definitely odd, since I've been over 90% correct this week.
So what is going on? We finally fixed a bug in the way that % correct was being calculated for those "at most one right" questions.
The 15 June quiz tested your knowledge of the ability to pass arguments to parameterized cursors.
We scored as correct the following choice:
I've been having a discussion with some PL/SQL Challenge reviewers regarding the use of the SYS. prefix in calls to DBMS_OUTPUT.PUT_LINE in the quizzes. We don't always include the prefix (mostly because I only recently started following this best practice - more on that below - in recent quizzes), but you will see it more and more.
One reviewer pointed out that a guideline for writing a good quiz is "Don't include unnecessary information." and this seems to be unnecessary.
Well, for the last couple of months, we promised that when PL/SQL Challenge v2 arrived, we would start up SQL quizzes, APEX quizzes, all sorts of great stuff.
And we will. Really. It's just that we've been kind of busy "burning in" all the new features and especially backend management utilities.
But enough. It's time to start keeping those promises.
So I am pleased to announce that the weekly SQL quiz will start this Saturday, 18 June.
Weekly quizzes start on Saturday and end on Friday at midnight (UTC time of course).