Reading Material On Order

10 06 2010

June 10, 2010 (Updated May 29, 2011)

I must admit that I am a bit surprised by the number of page views for the “Oracle SQL Recipes: A Problem – Solution Approach” book review that I posted 4 days ago.  That article is currently in 12th place for the number of page views on this blog in the last 90 days, and currently has half as many page views as the blog article in first place for the last 90 days (there are currently 202 blog articles on this blog).  You may have noticed that, unlike my other blog articles, I do not permit readers to post comments on blog articles that are book reviews.  I personally pay for each book that I review, and I try to post reviews of books with that criteria in mind – am I getting my money’s worth from the book, and what do I think about the book’s contents.

I missed the first 10 minutes of the Ultimate SQL Query Tune Off webinar today – the client-side version of the Live Meeting software kept crashing, simply stating that a problem happened, see your administrator.  The webinar started off with a roughly 50 minute long presentation by Jonathan Lewis.  Later, there were a lot of great questions asked after the formal portion of the webinar, and I am a bit surprised just how quickly extremely detailed (and more importantly correct) answers were provided for the questions.  Interestingly, some of the issues that I raised (or were related) about the Oracle SQL Recipes book were also asked as questions (I am sure that it was purely coincidental, but still interesting):

  • Why isn’t my index being used.
  • Is there any certain way to know if it is safe to drop an index (monitoring is not sufficient).
  • Rebuilding indexes and Metalink notes.

The question of what books should be read was also asked.  I have previously posted my recommendations for books.  As of Monday I had three new books on Order:

The first book was supposed to be in stock on June 1, but I received an email stating that Amazon is still trying to locate that book. I ordered that book simply because I was curious. I had bumped into that book’s author several times on Oracle’s OTN forums, usually with interesting results. Any book offered with the following warning must be interesting:

“This is not a book for beginners. Targeted at the senior Oracle DBA, this comprehensive book gives you all of the knowledge you need to be successful in tuning even the most complex Oracle database.”

I ordered the second book because I had previously purchased two copies of the 9i/10g edition of this book, and I purchased his “Expert One On One” book.

I ordered the third book because I had previously purchased that author’s “Forecasting Oracle Performance” book. The “Oracle Performance Firefighting” book (fourth printing) arrived by email on Tuesday. I am a bit disappointed that I cannot print the PDF file, nor copy sections of the PDF file – something that is permitted in the PDF copy of the “Expert Oracle Practices” book that I bought from Apress. I am also a bit surprised that my name, address, and phone number appear at the top of every page of the “Oracle Performance Firefighting” book, but I understand why. I am roughly 20 pages into the book, but it has not yet latched onto my undivided attention as has happened with some of the other books.

I plan to post detailed reviews of these three book, just as I did with the “Oracle SQL Recipes” book.

(Added May 5, 2011)
Reviews of the above books:
Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference Second Edition
Expert Oracle Database Architecture: Oracle Database Programming 9i, 10g, and 11g Techniques and Solutions, Second Edition
Oracle Performance Firefighting

On a related note, some people (myself included) have spent a significant amount of time and effort creating content that is posted in blogs, Usenet/OTN forums, various websites, and in some cases books. I posted the following today, somewhere:

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of U.S. Copyright law (I understand that you reside in the United States based on your profiles):

Copyright ownership is immediate, and does not need to be registered for entitlement.

It is absolutely not the responsibility of people to tell you not to post their work. It is your responsibility to obtain the permission of the copyright holder to post material that is owned by the copyright holders, whether it is pictures, large sections of text, or scripts.

Fair use laws do allow you, in some cases, to reproduce small sections of copyright work, but you must cite where the original material is found:

Consider this – you have spent tens of hours, hundreds of hours, or thousands of hours to produce something in written form, a book for instance. You have carefully specified every word on the page to state exactly what needs to be stated to clearly communicate a concept. You have spent hours building and testing scripts, verifying the results across different Oracle releases and different hardware platforms. A technical reviewer and an editor have reviewed your work, and you have made significant modifications to that work to more clearly communicate concepts that cannot be found through other resources. You assemble the scripts into an easily used format, and then you publish your work.

Now, someone finds all of your hard work, thinks it looks impressive, runs your test scripts through their system, captures a bit of the output, changes a couple words in the text, and then publishes the material (possibly for profit) as their own hard work. By reproducing the hard work of others and publishing it as their own original content, they are robbing the original producers of that content, not only of their entitlement under copyright law, but also of all of their hard work and potential monetary benefit that may be derived from that work.

That is exactly what you are doing by posting the original works of others with just a couple of changed words.

Kind of odd that I would post that message, or maybe not. For the record, it was not my material that was copied without attribution.