As Published In
Oracle Magazine
July/August 2009


The User Experience

By Justin Kestelyn

On the virtues of the MacBook Pro and face time with your peers at Oracle OpenWorld

If my sightings of the notebook in use at developer conferences are any indication, the Apple MacBook Pro has become very popular in a relatively short amount of time (a couple of years). In Web 2.0 circles, it is now the de facto choice. I have no data to support this observation, but based on the “noisiness” of Mac aficionados across the Oracle Technology Network (OTN) community, I’m comfortable taking it on faith.

Clearly, the ready availability of excellent virtualization software means that the seductive tactile experience offered by the MacBook Pro (and I speak from experience here) is reason enough for this development; you don’t even have to be developing for the Mac OS to find that hardware platform an attractive one. But for developers using scripting languages and tools such as Ruby on Rails, PHP, and Python natively on the Mac, native Mac support from Oracle Database is more than just icing on the cake; it is the cake.

The community has warmly welcomed the availability of Oracle Database 10g Release 2 ( for the Mac OS X/Intel x86-64, and Mac-ophile Oracle ACEs including Raimonds Simanovskis and Alex Gorbachev have stepped into the breach by publishing their own installation guides—within 48 hours of the release, no less—to complement the available documentation. If you didn’t have a good excuse for getting that MacBook before, you certainly have one now. You can find the referenced downloads and installation guides at OTN’s Mac OS X developer center.

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Dwindling travel budgets may have made virtual events a new cottage industry, but there’s still no substitute for face time with your peers. If you can afford to take only one such opportunity this year, then it has to be Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco, 2009 edition.

I won’t attempt to write about this immense conference in any detail here, but I do want you to know that Oracle Develop, the developer event (located at the San Francisco Marriott this year) that coincides with Oracle OpenWorld, is more deserving of your attention than ever. Whether you’re interested in database-backed application development (using Oracle Application Express, .NET, and Ruby/PHP), rich enterprise applications, SOA, Oracle Fusion development, or Java Platform, Enterprise Edition development, there’s a deep-dive technical session and/or hands-on lab at Oracle Develop for you. Even better, the cost is only US$100 more than a Full Conference Pass. If you’re seeking a more “extreme” experience than that offered at Oracle OpenWorld, attending Oracle Develop is practically a no-brainer.

As usual, you can also expect a “shadow” agenda from OTN, including the ever-popular OTN Lounge and its associated giveaways and prizes, Oracle ACEs in abundance, and another raucous OTN Night party (this time in the Howard Street tent right next to Moscone Center, so no excuses). And if you were not among the lucky souls to have your paper accepted during the open call for papers, you can still present on a topic of your choice at the third annual OTN-incubated Oracle OpenWorld Unconference.

You can register for Oracle OpenWorld and Oracle Develop at For more information about the Oracle Develop program, visit Update the Oracle OpenWorld Unconference agenda with your topic at

Blogging Virtualization

I also want to direct your attention to a new blog maintained by the Oracle VM team, where you can get up-to-date information about installation, configuration, best practices, and product road maps, to name just a few of the topics covered. Although virtualization is approaching mainstream status in the desktop world, inside the data center the concept is still on the uptake. This new blog will help you get a grip on many of the issues involved. Find it at


Justin Kestelyn ( is senior director, Oracle Technology Network and developer programs, as well as OTN editor in chief.

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