Last summer I posted about the building on the next plot to my office being demolished. Over the past couple of months four new buildings have been shipped across Europe off loaded from trucks and erected. Last week the building nearest my window was roofed and a start made on the siding. Today my view of the sky and the woods across the way had gone. Oh what gloom! I think I might have to move office to find a bit of blue sky.
Those who know me know that I like challenges and today three of them – two sets of core dumps on Solaris which may or not be related and a whole swathe of slow-running data warehouse queries. The slow running queries were simple to diagnose; out of date table stats. In this case the interesting thing was not that stats had not been updated for a month but the stats collection package had been failing silently for that period. Which of course meant that we have fix the error handling in our custom package and to prevent this particular error from happening. The root cause of the problem was using ALL_TABLES as a source of table to analyze (with a LIKE filter on table name) and a user creating her own tables that also matched the LIKE predicate and granting select to public so that they were visible to the package. Still it took four years for that accident to happen – and as an exercise in PL/SQL one of my team will resolve the problem and write in the error traps that will inform us of a problem if we ever get another one.
Core dumps are quite uncommon with our systems, so much so that the support staff never remember what to do with them. On Solaris things are relatively simple: identify the executable that caused the core dump and then use the adb debugger (we use adb since the debugger that comes with C is not always installed) to produce a stack trace to send off to the software vendor.
The open garden went well on Sunday, we must have had three hundred visitors on the day and very little rain. Even my old school friend made the the trek from Leicester. Our garden has also be short-listed in Milton Keynes gardens competition and was visited by the judges today, we now wait to see what happens. I think I’ll stop talking about gardens for a while.