I almost always find it interesting when real people write about real projects with which they are involved. It is one of the things that makes Tales of the Oak Table(ignore the first barking mad review) a must buy book (Dave Ensor’s potted history of Oracle corp is the other). It can also be enlightening to discover how often accidents of fate, huge problems and smart people combine to add real value to commercial products. For example both Joan Laiza’s introduction of Extended SQL trace in Oracle7 and the DTrace functionality in Solaris10 apppear to have been borne out of trying to win benchmarks, and not having a clue why the new shiny product was underperforming so badly. You really need the people involved to speak about this – corporate marketing won’t generally admit to this sort of thing – for reasons that reflect more on marketing itself it seems to me.
Anyway, most people familiar with the Oracle scene will be familiar with the work of Tom Kyte – in particular with his asktom column in Oracle magazine, which is now of course also a very popular website. Tom has just recently started a new blog, and todays article, gives the history behind asktom. Well worth a read.