Monday, 20 April 2015

apeks sticker, check.

There are some stickers are out there causing quite the sensation in the Oracle APEX Twitter community. Check it out and join the conversation.

A couple of weeks ago I received my sticker from the master dealer, Juergen, so I thought I'd share my pimped up laptop, complete with sticker friend.

Pimp my laptop
Fun fact: the photo was taken on the same grass that formed my blog's title image.

And now I also learn that Juergen as started an APEX podcast!  Kudos to you, sir!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Things learnt during APEX5 Universal Theme seminar by Shakeeb

Tonight I stayed up way past my bedtime (well, in the days of writing a book and Kscope presentations, midnight isn't that late).

I watched and listened to Shakeeb Rahman from the APEX team on an ODTUG webinar, which was recorded and available for ODTUG members.

I did, however, take some notes. I thought I'd share:



No need for css/javascript, or design

Not shy about reference to Douglas Adams.

Theme can be left locked & untouched, managed by APEX team for future version upgrades.

Vector based, will work on any screen size from smartphone to super dooper tv.

Template options make for fewer templates but more consistent yet customisable.

Accessible, keyboard friendly.

Top 5 Features

Enhanced Grid Layout

Addressing concerns from Theme 25, for better responsive applications.
eg: Attribute for label column span.

Show/hide grid got it's mojo back, and then some.

Template options are brilliant.

Region layout, using Grid Layout editor. Based on a few recent discussions I've seen on the forums, I wonder if people will change their tune one they start building some new apps in APEX 5.

Improved Navigation

Navigation lists, navigation bars, all behaving just like we wanted back in 3.x.
Many options, all declarative. App (interface) and page level.

icon-only css options found around - are these going to be published anywhere in documentation, not blog? Post seminar response was: that's the plan, in conjunction with theme sample app.

Template attributes a1-a10 coupled closer within builder so it's easy to reference what the values mean.

Font Awesome

Font Awesome now integrated. All classes to be found are integrated in select lists, with iconic previews. Great way to add polish.

Template Options

Scrolling/maximise options available out of box in region templates.

Carousel of regions. What a great idea.

Tweaking any templates easy using template options. Packaged application for Theme 42 shows all template features very well.


ThemeRoller. Change colour/look/feel of theme live. No CSS.
Built into developer toolbar.
Can save back into theme selections.
So easy to style your entire application. Theme styles available to kickstart re-design - Google, Metro...


Responsive behaviour easily much better than Theme 25. Time will tell when it comes to customisations in real projects, particularly for projects targeting specific size.

Universal theme is very impressive, I can't wait to use it for a dashboard project we have coming up.

White paper is coming to help migrate migrate to Universal Theme, which I applaud.

Alta UI theme style to be available as Vista.

APEX Team will have a Hangout next week on April 15.


Theme style shareable across applications via JSON. What a cool move.
Don't have to use Universal Theme to use Font Awesome.
CSS calendar included in 5.0
Chrome/Firefox/Safari recommended for development.
IE9+ for some customers



I can't even watch webinars without some pain. When lots going on the screen my audio dropped out. At least I think it was my end.

How awesome is APEX5 going to be?!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Why I can't do webinars

This is why I can't do webinars from my current home.

Ookla Speed Test Result

The upload speed is no doubt way too slow to cater for voice and screencast. Unfortunately I also seem to be in quite the dead spot for 4G wireless connection.

Download speed might be enough to support the streaming services recently launched in Australia, but I know ABC's iView does stutter occasionally so I think I'll still have to wait for the NBN. I'll probably have moved house by then...

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Season's readings

Have you discovered the OTech Magazine yet?

This magazine is a brainchild of Douwe Pieter van den Bos and is now five quarterly issues young. The "Winter 2014" is a bumper issue this time, plenty of reading during various downtime that's typically afoot. The season in particular deserves quotes, since outside my home it's currently 39C.

I hope to publish something again next issue, should I find the time between a couple of other projects. It's worth the subscription.

Note: I found this post in my drafts from late December. The next issue is due shortly where I've submitted an article on Pivot. upgrades to 5.0 this Friday

There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the APEX version 5 will become available.

I've jumped the gun before, but this message is taken direct from the site:

No doubt you've heard the news already, but I had to chuckle a little today as I did about an hour's work on a 3.2 environment. After playing with APEX 5 EA3, it was like jumping back into the 90's and using a 3.5" floppy.

APEX 5 will be an amazing leap forward in browser based development, but Joel suggests a few changes to be aware of.

Word on the street is APEX 5.1 will have a much shorter release cycle. This isn't the only post I've seen where Joel suggests more features will be just around the corner.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

All commenters now welcome

I've finally bitten the bullet and disabled the Google+ commenting mechanism from this blog. I promised this in my 2014 annual review, and I figure I might as well not wait.

When Google announced they would integrate Google+ with blogger, it sounded like a good idea at the time. However it required that commenters needed a Google+ account as opposed to having a number of authentication options.

Unfortunately this means the many comments made since turning it on will disappear into Google+ land, and won't be visible from the relevant post. There's plenty on the topic out there, so much so I've lost whatever discussion I had with someone about it.

It's a shame because some comments were particularly useful, with clarification coming from the APEX team regarding functionality in coming releases. It does mean the bugs that came with it also disappear.

- I get email notifications for comments - big win
- Post list now shows how many comments in each post - it's the little things
- Last comment found was March 2013 - 2 years into the G+ ether

Google+ comments are still available in web cache ... for now. According to this site I think these comments may disappear from cache after three months, I'd be happy to be enlightened otherwise.

Googling a URL with the cache: prefix will open the cached version immediately

Opening cached version of webpage using Google

I thought the Wayback Machine may also help but it doesn't seem to have archived any individual posts.

At the end of the day I'll be happy if this encourages more people to provide feedback. It's a great way to learn, particularly when I make mistakes in my posts or something mentions a better way.

Perth Breakfast Meeting - APEX5 + JSON + Food

Do you live in Perth, Western Australia?
Do you use Oracle Application Express?
Are you interested in seeing how easy it is to extend the product?
Keen to see APEX 5 in action?

Please tell me you're free for breakfast on Tuesday March 24. You'll be out by 9am feeling glad you came. Visit the event details page for the abstract, it's inspired by a book I'm currently writing ;p


AUSOUG: Add Awesome Visualisations to APEX using JSON

Where: Oracle Perth Office level 2, 66 Kings Park Road, West Perth WA
When: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 07:30am - 09:00am
RSVP: By Tuesday 17th March , using the buttons below or emailing

Yes, I'm attending!

No thanks

Feel free to bring your laptop. Most of the session will be me hands on using APEX5, creating a page before your very eyes.

And yes, there will be a flavour of science in my Prezi intro.