Friday, June 24, 2011

One, Two, Many Quizzes!

Eight months ago, you could visit and play the daily PL/SQL quiz...and that was it. If you wanted to play the monthly Toadworld PL/SQL quiz, you had to go to a different URL. It was a very limiting and inflexible.

I visited the home page of today and was overjoyed to see this:

We are now offering a daily PL/SQL quiz, the monthly Toadworld quiz, and three weekly quizzes: SQL, APEX and (the newest addition) a deductive logic puzzle.

I must admit to feeling a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. It is now so much easier to add quizzes, to manage quizzes, accept ideas for new quizzes from players, edit and review those quizzes online...we still have a long way to go, but this is a very nice place to be, compared to one year ago.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Weiner Distractions

From CNN:

"When fed up House Democratic leaders called on Anthony Weiner to resign last weekend, they were hoping to keep what they consider a disruptive political distraction from entering a third week. But Weiner did not step down, and Tuesday outside the House Democrats first meeting since Weiner admitted to sending lewd Twitter messages, frustration among some of his colleagues was palpable."It is taking away from all the issues we are fighting for. It's been what two weeks? It's been a very long two weeks," said Weiner's Democratic colleague from New York, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy.

I don't really care if Weiner resigns or not. I am inclined to agree with those who say "Let his constituents decide." Though I really can't imagine doing the incredibly stupid things that Weiner did and actually show up for work at the House of Representatives.

But I am struck by just how easily distracted are the supposed leaders of our great nation. What's the distraction? You've all said your piece. You want him to resign or you don't. You want him to go to therapy or you don't. So now get back to work.

If someone in the media asks you about it, you say: "I've said my piece and I am now busy doing the people's work."

Our elected officials are in general just so extraordinarily lame and ineffective (well, that goes mostly for the Democrats) or downright deceptive and destructive (mostly applied to Republicans these days, but certainly not exclusively).

If it wasn't for all those corporations and lobbyists feeding them big bucks and telling them what to do, they would truly be a laughing stock the world over.

Instead they are primarily an instrument for screwing over the poor and middle class.

But at least you don't have to claim that Weiner's penis is a distraction. FOCUS PEOPLE, FOCUS!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Latest PL/SQL Challenge championship playoff results published

On 7 June, we held the fourth quarterly championship playoff at the PL/SQL Challenge. Read about it here.

This playoff was a bit of a milestone for me. We'd just installed our new 2.0 platform, allowing for much more flexible configuring and taking of quizzes. And overall it worked splendidly for the playoff, which is a multi-quiz competition, compared to the daily quiz (just one question).

I am now able to automate so much more of the processing and administration of tasks for the site. This is important, because it takes up less of my time and I move closer to the day when other administrators can manage their own quizzes, for their competitions.

And now I will celebrate by tearing myself away from the computer to do some stretching.