IETester: Develop/test your site in IE 6, IE 7 and IE 8 RC1


by Emiel Paasschens

"When developing or testing your web application, you often have to support different browsers and versions. On Window machines testing for different versions of Firefox, Opera and Chrome is not a real problem as these browsers all allow you to install different versions on one machine. Only Internet Explorer (IE), is always a bit more difficult, because it’s integrated in the OS (Windows) of the machine. This mostly ends up installing multiple IE versions on multiple (virtual) machines, which is not a nice way of working when developing. Can we do this different and easier? Yes, we can!

The solution is quite easy and even easier then having multiple version of Firefox, Opera or Chrome on your machine.
How? Just try IETester. This is a free web browser that emulates IE5.5, IE 6, 7 and 8 RC1 in one browser. You can even open multiple IE 6, IE 7 and/or IE 8 tabs at the same time!"

Father of MySQL leaves Sun and starts up MariaDB Project

I recently read an article that the Author of MySQL, who was working for Sun, left the company due to a disagreement of where Sun was leading MySQL. I know this site is primarily geared towards Oracle, however it is DB related for certain, and interesting news to say the least.

He has spawned off a parallel DB called MariaDB. According to the site, the intent is to keep development in parallel to MySQL but extend the functionality.

From indications, all the standard MySQL syntax and APIs will continue to work. Not sure how this might impact the use of MySQL or possible inclusion of MariaDB in the future for my ISP, but I guess we will see.

For the departure article

Time to Move On

For info on MariaDB

MariaDB Project

Differences between MySQLDB and MariaDB

Maria vs MySQL

About that last post... I probably should have provided some context...

I didn’t provide any context around that last post and thought maybe I should.

In my shop, we provide the backend api support for our corporate systems web team. Basically, they build the interface and we build the data structures and primary engine components. One popular thing always needed was the demographic data itself. I started to see the trend of information being requested and opted to build a common api set to deliver that information. I built in some definition parms so that I could use it for different feeds, each with its own attributes.

However, for one particular need they needed to provide a list of values. So I leveraged associative arrays. I take the data in and dump into a temp table and run my query e.g. where id in (select value from gtt). All of these different types of ’search conditions’ are stored in a table and the web simply identifies the type of search and provides the list. I build the piece onto the base query dynamically and execute. This keeps me from having to build multiple new apis, I just add another search type entry to the table and the SQL context that goes with it. Works great… till yesterday when they wanted to do LIKE.

Since the inception of the original api set, I had created a criteria grid method which handles it just fine and more. That logic can be found here under the Dynamic SQL and Variable Parameter Input. However for them to switch to the new api, would have risked the go-live date which was in a few weeks.

Instead… after a bit of thinking… it came to me to use the approach I provided here and it resolved the issue. There… that explains the why a bit better.

P.S. If more time was permitted, I would steer them towards the criteria grid due to the substantially increased flexibility. Just my 2 cents for what its worth.

Linking to Lotus Notes Database and Forms via email

Question came up from a customer today requesting the ability to link to a Lotus Notes database form upon receiving an email with the associated link embedded in it. More specifically that the email is generated from a source outside of the Lotus Notes environment itself.

My first thought was a resounding NOPE… CANNOT BE DONE, however my response to the customer was more in the form of :

“Although there may exist a technical solution, it is not part of the IT Standards and Best Practices” to facilitate this type of functionality. There exists other standards in place that would be followed instead.”

Needless to say this did not go over well with the customer, who asked the question again…but differently. Realizing they were not going to let this one go, I did some more research. I decided I would share this research with everyone else also.

Much of my research had me landing here at

NOTE : This only works for emails received into the Lotus Notes client itself. You cannot just type it into your favorite browser and expect it to launch your Lotus Notes and drive to the requested destination. I am pretty sure that would violate most security and audit provisions regarding the execution of host applications via web page actions.

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My 1/15th seconds of fame...

O'Reilly has published the 4th edition copy of their Oracle PL/SQL Programming book authored by Steven Feuerstein and Bill Pribyl. Over 1000 pages of good material for an Oracle Developer.

It is also my 1/15th seconds of fame. Through a collective effort of research on ways to build a FTP process from pure PL/SQL code, yet never finding one specific way that satisfied my need, I finally came up with a final product that gave me everything I was looking for : Put/Get/Rename/Delete + more. All of which was performed within a PL/SQL package.

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