Sunday, March 16, 2008

"I'm a volunteer, not a dentist"

(** With dues apologies and thanks to the writers of Star Trek'm_a_doctor,_not_a...)

I spend a lot of time responding on Oracle forums. One consistent frustration is that we apparently need to be dentists - getting operating system and product version information is like pulling split teeth (both painful and tedious).

When asking a question, the combination of operating system edition and service pack AND Oracle edition and patch are very important pieces of information. A number of us volunteers are now starting to ignore questions that miss these basics.

I) Microsoft product

Very quickly, here is my perspective of 'What is Windows', or 'What do I need to help you'.

  1. Windows is Microsoft's brand name. It covers a lot of families of products.
  2. Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista are Microsoft Windows product family names.
  3. Each family has 'configurations' or 'editions' (which have Service Packs)
  • Windows XP comes in Professional, Media Center, Home and Mobile Editions
  • Windows Vista comes in several Editions Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise and Ultimate Editions
  • and so on.
When asking a question, PLEASE specify the detail, such as "Windows XP Professional SP2" (or an understandable acronym, such as XPP2)

II) For Oracle

Similar thing with Oracle

  1. Oracle is Oracle Corporation's overloaded brand name and trademark
  2. Oracle {product} {family} is Oracle's product brand name
  3. These product brands may be divided into releases
  4. Then we have Editions which gets us to a product that may be used (and patched)
Typical Oracle product Families
  • Oracle Database 10g,
  • Oracle Database 11g,
  • Oracle Collab Suite 10g,
  • Oracle Business Intelligence 10g,
  • Oracle Application Server 10g
Example releases
  • Oracle Database 10g Release 2
Editions in the DB10gR2 (in increasing 'included functionality' order)
  1. Oracle Database 10g Release 2 Express Edition,
  2. Oracle Database 10g Release 2 Standard Edition One
  3. Oracle Database 10g Release 2 Standard Edition
  4. Oracle Database 10g Release 2 Enterprise Edition
  5. Oracle Database 10g Release 2 Personal Edition

III) Linux product

The naming conventions for Linux are much more nebulous. Simply put, the information I need when responding to a Linux question is

  1. Vendor (optional, may be implied with community projects)
  2. Distribution
  3. Release
  4. Kernel release (from uname -r)
  5. Userid under which the problem occurs (root, oracle-owner, other)

So I would want to see "Using oracle on OpenSUSE 10.3 -"


Frank said...

- a -most of the times square- hole in a wall, fitted with glass, where you can see through.
- on computers: a program, that allows muliple viewports to programs; such a viewport is called "a window"
- MicroSoft Windows: a trademark for the implementation of the above by MicroSoft Corporation

Ivan Kartik said...

"So I would want to see "Using oracle on OpenSUSE 10.3 -""

Ehm... what kind of Oracle do you mean exactly Hans? :-D

Forbrich said...

Erm... Ahh... Hmm...

Ivan, you are right ... but I know which product and version of Oracle I am trying to install ... cough cough ;-}

Aman Sharma said...

Excellent post!

stellios said...

For a start, if some people could just read this before posting: Asking Smart Questions.

Joel Garry said...

I'd want to see 4 digits so I know what the Oracle patch leve is!