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Inconsistent behavior in Oracle 10g XE Web Interface

Oracle 10g Express edition comes with a nice web interface to it - APEX - Oracle Application Express which is a  rapid development tool for Web applications on the Oracle database.

While using the tool for my Discovering SQL book, I have noticed some inconsistent behavior which I attribute to DHTML implementation in this particular version (10g Express).They appear to be OS dependent since I have not encountered these in either Windows XP or Windows Vista installations.


The inconsistencies of the browser behavior can be grouped into two major categories - local and remote.

Accessing Oracle 10g XE with APEX on local machine (e.g.

The Opera(v. 11.10)  browser along with Chrome (v. 10.0.648.205) and Firefox (v.  4.0) running on Windows 2003 Server - all cannot display uploaded scripts as shown on the pictures below. This behavior is not dependent on length of the script or on script file encoding (UTF-8, code pages etc). I supply exact versions used, but this will hold true for the earlier versions as well. The only browser that correctly displayed the script on local machine was Internet Explorer  (v. 8.0.6001.18702),

The gallery: Chrome, Firefox, IE, Opera; then remote IE, Opera and Firefox, respectively.

Accessing Oracle 10g XE with APEX on remote machine (e.g.

All the browsers break when a source of the script is accessed through Apex interface remotely (only Internet Explorer gives a meaningful error). The fifth picture in the above gallery shows Oracle PL/SQL error along with DHTML tags.


Losing browser wars

Microsoft is losing browser wars on younger generation. The main culprit – it is slow. It is annoyingly slow to start up (what is it doing these minutes while opening on my computer? Connecting to Microsoft to log my session? Initializing umpteen+ plugins and components?), it is slow to render graphics, it behaves erratically with downloads... Wikipedia supplies some stats on browser usage out there: IE @53%, Firefox @31% and Google Chrome @8%.  It was almost 90% of the market for the Microsoft's IE as recent as 2005...  A bit of anecdotal evidence : my 16 years old hates Internet Explorer for all the reasons listed above – and he grew up with IE using it exclusively up until last year (that’s 8+ years!) , ditching it for Chrome. “It does what I need, and it is sooo fast!”.

I believe that Microsoft became too preoccupied with today’s corporate suits losing the younger generation; after all, they are in business selling Office products. Of course, they are paying lip service with flops like Zune and occasional successes like XBox... but lacking Google's razor sharp focus. After all, Gioogle is doing exactly what Microsoft did back at the beginning of the 1990s, when facing uphill battle against entrenched UNIX boxes with Windows 3.11 and languages like Visual Basic 3.0. These were FUN!

Microsoft is not fun anymore, it is a serious business. And this is the problem it will face in the future when today’s kids graduate into corporate boardrooms.