Friday, July 29, 2005

Tom Kyte

Tom Kyte was at OOUG in Columbus. He's even better in person than the is at AskTom.

Here's one little gem he gave that will change your life, if you're an oracle person. Or at least hurry you to upgrade to 10g, where it can be used.

The magic is q'| |'.

(q'|I don't have to worry when I write a string like
'INSERT 'r2d2' INTO droids'|');
(q'|It's almost as good as Perl!|');

SELECT * FROM my_tbl;

I don't have to worry when I write a string like
'INSERT 'r2d2' INTO droids'

It's almost as good as Perl!

All those single-quote single-quote, single-quote single-quote single-quote monstrosites we used to make to get quote marks into SQL strings are history. Let the people rejoice!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


For Mozilla, Firefox, or Netscape, drag-and-drop any of these links to your toolbar to create a LibraryLookup bookmarklet. For Internet Explorer, use Add to Favorites... and create it in Links.

Public librariesCollege and university librariesNow, when you're browsing any site that describes a book by its ISBN (, for example), clicking your new toolbar button or link will automagically look that book up in your library's catalog. Yay!

Hooray for Jon Udell, creator of LibraryLookup! (And a little bit of hooray for me, who slaved over a hot keyboard to make these public library bookmarklets.)

TODO: These bookmarks are written to extract the ISBNs from the URL, not the webpage text. Some sites, like O'Reilly, don't use ISBNs in their books' URLs - but still list them in the webpage text. A more sophisticated bookmarklet might be able to find the ISBN there, too. I'd like to write bookmarklets that could find and use those ISBNs, too.

Friday, July 01, 2005

the easy tools

  • If only I had known about tooltips months ago!
    A tooltip is what you get when you hover over a word like these ones. I went off looking for how to generate them, expecting to get myself hip-deep in JavaScript, and found that this is all you have to do:
    <span title="I love tooltips.">these ones<span>
  • If I had known about CherryPy months ago!
    With all due respect to other Python-based web application platforms like Zope, CherryPy is so much easier to get into, and soooooo satisfying. And it really does run much faster than Zope, too. Yum!