On Tuesday this past week (March 24), I had the honor of spending some time at Oracle headquarters with two guys from the PL/SQL Team -- Charles Wetherell, the brains behind the optimizing compiler, and my long-time sparring partner Bryn Llewellyn, the public face of the team. I make the pilgrimage to HQ every year or so to share PL/SQL stories, meeting different team members each time.
I talk about what I am doing with PL/SQL and what I see out there in the big world of PL/SQL developers. They talk about what they are doing with the language, and where they see it going. They usually even pretend to give consideration to my viewpoints! Aw, just joking. They are most respectful.
Now that Oracle Database 11g Release 2 is well into its Beta Program, most of the developers at Oracle HQ are hard at work on the end-game activities -- while some are already starting to plan the content of the next major release. It was great to have the chance to talk, strictly off the record, with Charles and Bryn about their ideas for the next big steps in PL/SQL, and to put forward some of mine.
And while I cannot go into any details, I can tell you that it is very clear that Oracle remains committed to supporting and enhancing the PL/SQL language in very substantial and, in at least one case, for me, quite surprising, ways.
I can also report that the team generally pays attention to input from their users (PL/SQL developers). Not only that, but the ideas proposed and voted on at ILovePLSQLAnd.net are treated with the utmost consideration. So please, please, please....if you have not yet visited this website, please do immediately and vote on the PL/SQL enhancements you feel would benefit you the most. When Oracle Database 11g Release 2 becomes generally available, I will update the list on ILovePLSQLAnd.net to show what has been implemented.
And, as always after a meeting with my friends on the PL/SQL team, I am reminded of two things:
1. How glad I am that we have people of their caliber (real computer scientists) planning out and implementing changes to PL/SQL - and not people of my caliber (that is, largely self-trained and quite amateurish by comparison).
2. That for many years to come, PL/SQL will continue to be a truly fine language in which to write software and implement business requirements.
So, happy coding, my fellow PL/SQL developers! Rest assured; our future selves will be more productive and ever more pleased with the language with which we spend so much of our time.