News, views, tips and tricks on Oracle and other fun stuff

Add These Oracle Related Search Engines to Google Chrome

A while ago I created and published a bunch of Oracle related search engine plugins for both Firefox and Internet Explorer. Google Chrome did not exist then. Now that Google Chrome is rising in popularity, here is how you can create and use these Oracle search engines in your Chrome browser.

Unlike Firefox and IE, Chrome does not have a separate browser search bar. It has only one bar, the address bar (sometimes called the “omnibox”). It sits at the top of the browser window and doubles as a search box. You can use it in many different ways.

You access and use your search engines from the address bar. To manually add, edit, or remove search engines, follow these steps:

  • Right-click anywhere inside the address bar
  • Click on “Edit search engines…” on the pop-up menu
  • Click “Add…” on the Search Engines window

(Here is another way to get to the Search Engines window)

Now, let’s add the Oracle Blogs search engine. Copy/paste or type the following in each of the “Add Search Engine” fields:

  • Name: Oracle Blogs
  • Keyword: ob
  • URL:

Click OK to create the search engine. By the way, you can enter anything you want in the Name and Keyword fields. I usually like the Keyword to be very short and the Name to be descriptive.

The fastest way to use the search engine you just created is to hit Ctrl + L (this will take the cursor to the address bar), type in the search engine’s keyword (ob in this example) followed by a Tab, enter your search query and hit Enter.

To create the rest of the Oracle related search engines, follow the same steps described above and copy/paste the corresponding URL from the list below:

  • Oracle Forums:
  • Oracle Sites:
  • AskTom:
  • Oracle DB 12.1 Docs:
  • Oracle DB 11.2 Docs:
  • Oracle DB 11.1 Docs:
  • Oracle DB 10.2 Docs:
  • Oracle DB 10.1 Docs:
  • Oracle DB 9.2 Docs:
  • Oracle DB 9.0.1 Docs:
  • Oracle Documentation – All versions:

This post was brought to you by:

first burleson consulting then experts -exchange and now , google is getting more and more spam with oracle searchesless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

That’s why I primarily use custom search engines for my Oracle related searches @coskanless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

@eddieawad may I kindly ask if you can write one for chrome :) IE is out of my life too long ago Firefox is heavyweight comparing to chromeless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

1 Comment | Filed in Firefox, Oracle | Tags: , ,

36K “Oracle lang:sql” Scripts

In case you're bored, here are 36,000+ Oracle SQL scripts available for your reading pleasure through Google code search.

2 Comments | Filed in Oracle | Tags: ,

Where Is That Oracle Virtual Book?

The advanced search in Oracle Database 10g Release 2 (10.2) documentation library gives you the option to format search results into a virtual book.

This is a nice little feature that formats your search results as a single combined table of contents, making it easier to scan through similar topics from different books. For example here is a virtual book about materialized views. It took about 15 seconds for the search engine to return results formatted as a virtual book, not very fast.

What about Oracle Database 11g?
It seems that the virtual book option is missing from the Oracle Database 11g Release 1 (11.1) documentation library. I could not find it on the advanced search page. If it is there and I missed it, please let me know. Until then, I figured out a simple way to transform an 11g search result into a virtual book. Just append “&vbook=1″ to the end of the search results URL. For example:

Even though the virtual book format option is not exposed on the advanced search page, it is mentioned and explained on the 11g search help page. Hmm!

You could also bookmark this page and use it whenever you want to generate a virtual book for any search term.

A new search plugin
Finally, the easiest option of all is to install the Oracle DB 11.1 Virtual Book search plugin in your browser (Firefox or IE7). If you use Google Chrome, here are the instructions on how to add a new search engine.

Comments Off | Filed in Firefox, Oracle, Plugins | Tags: , ,

AskTom Search Engine Plugin Revived

I went to AskTom to add the site’s search engine to my Firefox’s Search Bar but too bad the search engine link was broken:

So, I went ahead and created a new AskTom search engine plugin.

If you are browsing this page in Firefox 2 or above or IE7 or above, click here to install the AskTom search plugin.

Check out this page for more Oracle related search engine plugins.

Comments Off | Filed in Firefox, Oracle, Plugins | Tags: , ,

How to Ask for Help the Right Way

Yesterday, I received the following email:

Hi, We’d bought oracle 10g with RH Enterprise Linux in 2005. After year of a smooth
operation we’re having following problems with Oracle 10g.
– system shutdowns once a day automatically
– listener could not find available handler for requested type of server .
Listener failed to start. But registered with the listener and that the
appropriate handlers are accepting connections.
We can’t figure it out why the server is suddenly shutdowns. Can you provide us
solution solving this problem.
Looking forward hearing from you,

Now, how am I supposed to reply? I’m almost tempted to send him here, but this is not a “read the manual” issue, it is much worse than that. This is one example of how you ask for help the wrong way.

So, how to ask for help the right or the smart way. Well, provide details. Details like the type and version number for your database and operating system, error messages, test scenarios, test data, test scripts. Am I missing something?

In short, the more specific you are in describing your problem the better chance someone will respond with a solution.

I guess I will reply with the following two links:

3 Comments | Filed in Oracle, Tips | Tags: ,

See How Easily You Can Search Oracle

Since the introduction of the first Oracle search plugins for Firefox, a few things have changed:

So, what does this have to do with search plugins? Read on and you will know:

  • What’s new in IE7 and Firefox 2 regarding search plugins.
  • You will be introduced to the new Oracle custom search engines powered by Google.
  • And you will be able to install many Oracle search plugins that will help you in your Oracle-related research and learning.

Search plugins in the new Firefox 2 and IE 7

Both Firefox 2 and IE 7 browsers now support the OpenSearch description format (XML) for search plugins. Which means that if you develop a search plugin for Firefox, that exact same search plugin can also be installed and used in Internet Explorer.

Moreover, there are now two (automated) ways to install search plugins (and they both work in Firefox 2 and IE 7). The first is to call one simple JavaScript function, the second is through auto-discovery of search plugins.

Using auto-discovery, a web site that offers a search plugin can advertise it so that Firefox 2 and IE 7 users can easily download and install the plugin. This is similar to the RSS auto-discovery of feeds.

Search Plugin Installation in IE 7 Using Auto-Discovery

In IE 7, here is how the search bar looks when you browse a website without search plugin auto-discovery:


And here is how it looks with search plugin auto-discovery enabled:


If you click on that small orange down-arrow, you will see something similar to this:


In fact, if you are using IE 7 to browse this very page, you will be able to see it in action in your browser right now. Just look at your search bar.

Note: I have noticed that IE 7 does not discover more than 3 search plugins using auto-discovery.

Search Plugin Installation in IE 7 Using a JavaScript Link

Alternatively, if the installation is done using the JavaScript link, you will be presented with this window in IE 7:


Search Plugin Installation in Firefox 2 Using Auto-Discovery

In Firefox 2, here is how the search bar looks when you browse a website without search plugin auto-discovery:


And here is how it looks with search plugin auto-discovery enabled:


If you click on that small blue-ish down-arrow, you will see something similar to this:


In fact, if you are using Firefox 2.0 to browse this very page (or Wikipedia for example), you will be able to see it in action in your browser. Just look at your search bar.

Search Plugin Installation in Firefox 2 Using a JavaScript Link

Alternatively, if the installation is done using the JavaScript link, you will be presented with this window in Firefox 2.0:


Oracle Custom Search Engines

I have created three Oracle custom search engines powered by Google.

  1. The first search engine is for Oracle-related blogs. It searches all the blogs aggregated by OraNA.

  2. The second search engine is for Oracle-related forums and mailing lists. Currently this search engine searches the following sites:

    Let me know if you have other Oracle-related forums you want to include in this search engine.

  3. The third search engine is for Oracle-related websites. Currently this search engine searches the following sites:

    Let me know if you have other Oracle-related sites you want to include in this search engine.

These search engines, and more, are now available to you right from your browser’s search bar.

Install Oracle search plugins

Just click on a search plugin below to add it to the list of engines available in your browser’s search bar:
(Firefox 2 or IE 7 and above only)

Oracle Custom Search Engines:

Oracle Documentation Search Engines:

Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are four search bar keyboard shortcuts that will make using the search bar even faster:

  • Go to search bar: Ctrl+K in Firefox. Ctrl+E in IE.
  • Select next search engine in search bar: Alt+Down in Firefox. Ctrl+Down in IE.
  • Select previous search engine in search bar: Alt+Up in Firefox. Ctrl+Up in IE.
  • Open search results in a new tab: Alt+Enter

And here is a bonus tip to change the width of the search bar in Firefox.

Happy searching!

6 Comments | Filed in Firefox, Oracle, Plugins | Tags: , , , ,

Bart’s Punishment For Asking Dumb Questions

I will use Google before asking dumb questions

Using Google to find answers is a good idea, but when it comes to finding answers to technical questions, hitting the documentation first is a very smart move that may save you some humiliation later on.

When you ask “obvious” questions on forums or mailing lists, there is a good chance that the more experienced forum contributors will hit you with an answer like this one: RTFM before asking dumb questions.

Tim Hall has noticed a trend in the Oracle forums:

It feels like most posters these days don’t even bother to open the manuals before asking a question. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked a question, that is answered by the first couple of paragraphs in the manual. It’s just lazy beyond words.

OK, so Tim is predicting the downfall of Oracle forums because posters don’t bother to RTFM first.

Now, with the help of Oracle Blogs Search and Google, let’s see what other bloggers have written about this subject:

RTFM – by Tom Kyte:

I do recommend and point people to the documentation, but I don’t think I give RTFM answers… I will answer with a gentle reminder such as “well, when I typed your subject into the search field, I found these 5 articles, did you see them?”.

How To Be A Good Guru – by Andrew Clarke:

Telling some newbie “RTFM” is an act of pure arrogance. It just feeds the respondent’s ego without helping that questioner learn anything, except maybe not to ask for help in the forum again.

But it’s in the manual! – by Jonathan Lewis:

I’ve just seen a note on the news group advising someone to check the online manual for a piece of code to report which objects are using how much space in the buffer cache. This is the reference and this is the code… There are two flaws with this code – it gets the wrong results, and it’s inefficient.

RTFM, Newbies etc – by Niall Litchfield:

RTFM says “you’re wasting my time and I think you are stupid”. I wouldn’t say that to anyone in one-to-one conversation, I don’t see why it is acceptable in email. (unless you are 14, male and on a video games forum obviously).

Read the ******* Manual – by Andrew Gilfrin:

First let me say I’m not a prude, but neither do I have a mouth like a toilet. But I do find the acronym RTFM incredibly offensive.

How to get users to RTFM – by Kathy Sierra

The “F” in RTFM is the biggest clue that most of us blame the user for not reading the manual… since we can’t force our users to do anything, if we want them to RTFM, we need to make a better FM.

And finally, here is what I say:

  1. Don’t use the acronym RTFM.
  2. Do point people to the documentation.
  3. Don’t blindly trust the documentation.
  4. Do test, test and test, even after you read the documentation.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions. What’s dumb to some, is genius to others.

Feel free to add your own DO or DON’T, or even ask dumb questions, I promise I won’t throw an RTFM on you :)

15 Comments | Filed in Oracle, Tips | Tags: , ,

A Sneak Preview of The New OTN Special Edition Web Site

Back in early October, Justin blogged about a new project called “OTN, Special Edition”. He also mentioned that it might be called “MyOTN – Beta Edition”.

…Imagine a completely RSS-based version of OTN that allows you to filter your view based on tag (topic) or contributor, for Website content as well as discussion forum threads… Think of it as an “interactive” search process, with the relevant keywords being supplied to you, instead of the other way around.

That’s how Justin described the new project. As a teaser, he posted three low resolution screenshots and did not provide a link to the new OTN site.

Well, I was lucky enough to stumble upon the “OTN, Special Edition” demo URL. I will not publish the URL because it is not hosted on and it will most likely change when OTN goes public with its Special Edition. But, I have recorded a screencast of the new OTN site. I have also taken a few high resolution screenshots. All I can say is that it is really cool.

otnse-sshot-0.png otnse-sshot-1.png otnse-sshot-11.png otnse-sshot-3.png otnse-sshot-4.png

Click on a thumbnail to view a larger size screenshot

2 Comments | Filed in Oracle, Technology | Tags: , ,

OraNA What’s New Screencast

Check out this screencast about the latest improvements to OraNA.

The most important new feature is the Oracle blogs search. Using Google custom search, I have created a search engine that lets you search all the blogs aggregated by OraNA. By all I mean more than 136 Oracle related blogs plus all the blogs hosted at Give it a try.

3 Comments | Filed in Oracle | Tags: , , ,

Google Code Search is Live

Google Code Search is live as of a few minutes ago. From the FAQs: Google Code Search helps you find function definitions and sample code by giving you one place to search publicly accessible source code hosted on the Internet. With Google Code Search, you can:

  • Use regular expressions to search more precisely
  • Restrict your search by language, license or filename
  • View the source file with links back to the entire package and the webpage where it came from

Here is an example query.

Code search is not something new. Here are the other code search engines that I have known about for a while:


Comments Off | Filed in Technology | Tags: , ,