Friday, September 7, 2007

Random assimilations and Business ideas

Today I learned that you can pass in parameters to .sql scripts that are destined to be run with sqlplus. It looks like this: 'sqlplus -s dbuser/dbpasswd@dbname @scriptname.sql param1 param2' and then in the sql file you output the params using &1 and &2. I was finding though that for the replacement sqlplus was being verbose and telling me about every replacement it made. I didn't like that so much, but couldn't figure out how to turn it off. I've already got 'set headers off' and 'set feedback off' set at the beginning of the script. I tried 'set logging off' but it didn't like that (because logging is set to off as a default I believe). Anyhow, the replacements were working.

With Oracle SQL, if you want to select back by a time interval, do something like this: 'select count(*) from my_log_table where logdatetime > current_date - interval '15' minute;' or you can use '- interval '6' hour' ... or '- interval '2' day' etc. Single quotes around the number!

Back to cron: to set cron to run every minute go '*/1 * * * * /' Every 3 minutes: '*/3 * * * * /'

One problem I've run into with FusionCharts is the limitation of the Flash plugin to handle a big data dump. Put more than a few graphs with, say, 50 datapoints each on a page, and the browser hangs and the plugin throws our of memory errors.

Interesting IT Business Ideas:
- Reusing software development tools for other industries/applications. For example: other than the obvious issue with binary file types, why don't architects and lawyers use a repository like SVN, or Monotone? ( I left out the ones you have to pay for :-) We've tossed this idea around wondering if anybody has tried to market repositories this way....
- Becoming a freeware software consultant for small businesses. You can get everything from a good OS to all the 'openOffice' applications for free, not to mention what Google and others are putting on line (word processors and spreadsheets, etc), and universally accessible too! Seems to me if you're good at training, you can really help small businesses save a buck on software by showing them how to use all the free stuff out there. It wouldn't surprise me if people are doing this one already.
- write a GOOD, scalable, secure, extensible front end framework for web applications. There's a tonne of them out there now, but it seems like every one of them (Ruby, JSF, Struts, Facelets, Tapestry, SpringMVC, etc) has a downside. I've had conversations with a number of knowledgeable architect types and they agree that there is no good front end web solution out there right now. So, one could code a good freeware framework, consult using it, and then sell it to Red Hat (like the JBoss consultants did).

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