Welcome Carl's family, friends, colleagues and anyone else that visits this site. It's been five years but seems like yesterday that Carl was laughing, joking, providing opinions, being a genius, debating, participating in shenanigans and overall just living life to the fullest. We all share great memories and good times and we wish everyone and their families the best.

 Thank you for being a part of his life. A few updates for everyone. Carl's daughter, Destany, is attending college in Sacramento and doing very well. She is exceptional young lady and makes us proud everyday. A special thanks to those who contributed to Carl's memorial fund as it is going to good use for her college education.

 For your viewing pleasure here are some of our favorite pictures of Carl. Have a great day...keep smiling and have a drink for Carl.

 -Best wishes from his family.

In loving memory of our son, father, brother, fiancé and friend
Carl Backstrom
October 19, 1973 – October 26, 2008

Thank you, thank you , thank you to everyone. For all the memories shared, donations and words of comfort, please know each is truly appreciated by Carl's family. It means so much to us to know how many people loved and respected Carl. Many of you expressed such beautiful memories and words of comfort that we truly understand why Carl enjoyed his work so much. On behalf of Carl's daughter, Destany, and our family we would like to thank you for the generous donation made. Please know that the funds are set aside to send Destany to college to ensure she has the future Carl dreamed for her.

Carl truly enjoyed his work and interacting with so many people. He loved problem solving and figuring out new and interesting solutions. Many a time he would share with us what he was working on, especially when he helped someone with their application or was able to change code from 8 lines to 3. Most of the time we would smile and nod even if we didn't have a clue to what he was talking about. We knew his job wasn't work to him but a chance to help people and solve a problem. It is wonderful to hear from his Internet family since we saw the hours he put in (even if we were encouraging him to get off the computer to come play). We saw how hard he worked and how much of himself he put into everything he did.

“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” - Abraham Lincoln

Donations to Carl's Memorial Fund can be made several ways:
Domestic wire transfers
Account Number 152460903
Citibank ABA Number 322271724
International wire transfers SWIFT Code: CITI US 33

OOW recap (pt 2)

Better late than never on this one this job thing really gets in the way of blogging sometimes ;) .

I had two sessions this Oracle World , well I had a session and I helped out on another.

Sessions (Helper)

The session I helped out with a bit was Mark Drake's Oracle Application Express and Oracle XML Database: A Match Made in the Database. This session had it's beginning's way back at Web2.0 Expo where Mark and I shared a demo booth.  XMLDB has a standard sample/demo called XFILES which is a simple yet full featured file management system using all XMLDB features. But it requires using a java server and is kinda slow , well I think it's slow but I might be biased.

So I was like hey Mark! you should build this in APEX since we are both built in features of the database. And lo and behold the his session was born.  I helped on and off with building the demo application , and it was a big learning experience, both with the features XMLDB provides as well as were APEX does not leverage them well, something we will be working on improving.

Mark at OOW asked if I could sit in so if there was any specific APEX questions, and hey I'm a people person so of course I said yes.  The session was very well attended with many people in the audience already familiar with APEX and/or XMLDB.  Mark covered the basics of XMLDB and I quickly went over APEX basic's and then it was all demo. 

I really think the application demo and explanation of how things were created was a hit, it showed the power of XMLDB as well as how APEX can leverage it's features directly out of the databasey.  Just the number of hands that came up with people saying things like

  • Hey I just built that a month a go and yours is cooler.
  • Hey I need to build that in the near future and these are great ideas.
  • Hey can I have that application?

shows that this session hit a sweet spot. A couple things I got from this is that people like that APEX can directly leverage built in database features and want more of it easier, and secondly I need to really make time to clean up that XFILES application so it can be a packaged application.

Sessions (Mine)

My session was titled Web 2.0 using Oracle Application Express and was pretty well attended , especially since I was up against two other APEX sessions at the end of the day.  I like my sessions slide light , demo heavy and with audience participation . Luckily I didn't rewrite my whole demo and slides the day my session as I'm known to do though I was editing right up till the end. 

My presentation had two parts.

A technical part that expected people to know or at least have knowledge of APEX and it's built in javascript framework already.  During this part of the session I went over features in APEX that were used to build Interactive reports.  It goes something like this, in Interactive Reports we have this feature, and this is how it was built

...code ensues...

I like this format since it shows at a low level way how to build features but leaves it up to the developers how they want to leverage it. 

I also stress using the proper debugging tools when building client side features , specifically Firefox with Firebug , though I did point out that newer versions of other browsers are also getting these features.  Basically if your using a browser that doesn't give you proper error message IE 6/7 among others DO NOT use it for development, your making it harder on yourself and wasting time.

You download my application from here to mess around with.

The second part of my presentation is the real fun part where I get to talk about upcoming features in APEX.  So after showing my safe harbor slide , the one that keeps me out of trouble with the boss's , I was able to go over features that we are working on for future release's.

Improvements to the base functions $x() $v() $s() which are the base functions when dealing with page items.

Namespacing of our javascript libraries so that we play nice with other third party javascript libraries.

The use of chaining in our javascript library so that javascript is more compact and reusable.

And finally and my favorite!
Though I've hinted to people off and on for awhile we will  be including in the base jQuery library in our next release! It's all signed of and everything and I'm busy rewriting our code to leverage jQuery underneath, one of the reason's it's been tough for me to get these posts out.

In my next post I will go over how the inclusion of jQuery effect's APEX.  It's both a bigger and yet smaller change than you might think