Re: Quality of Oracle MetaLink Notes

From: Robert Freeman <>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 08:55:56 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

I think part of this issue is one of language/culture with respect to the analyst. With a global support organization you are going to get people who's first language is not English (or even American English). Thus, their vocabulary will not be quite as wide as a natural speaker. Additionally this probably makes for more halting and harsh sounding reporting, when in fact that may not have been the intent. Finally I find the first level support at Oracle to often be lacking. If you get a first level analyst making the report (or perhaps they are trying in vain to paraphrase a development response), they may not have the knowledge to accurately write what has been reported. Some of the initial responses I get to SR's are nothing more than the analyst going through the docs and finding something that I already knew a long time ago.

I kind of wish Metalink had a set of radio buttons so you could describe your skill set (expert, advanced, intermediate, beginner) so they would not do stuff like that. It wastes my time and I sometimes think that they do it in an effort to just get the SR "answered"..... irrespective of the fact that the answer is about as helpful as fire ants in Florida.

It think it falls on us, as openers of an SR, to ensure that the reporting is accurate and correct. Granted, we pay for support and we can complain until the cows come home about how we should not have to do this, or do that, but in the end if we follow-up and ensure accuracy and appropriate grammar, etc we all benefit. That being said, I'll confess that there are times that I'm just so frustrated with the Analyst after working an SR that I just don''t want to have anything else to do with them.

Just my opinion, YMMV...


Robert G. Freeman
Oracle Database 11g New Features (Oracle Press) Portable DBA: Oracle (Oracle Press)
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  • Original Message ---- From: Hemant K Chitale <> To: Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 8:27:51 AM Subject: Quality of Oracle MetaLink Notes

In the past 1 (or 2?) years, the quality of notes on MetaLink has significantly deteriorated.
Some are outright misleading (and potentially dangerous to novice DBAs). However, in recent months, I have noticed notes that are also arrogant or disrespectful
to the customer.

One example, one which I did send feedback to Oracle Support is Note 558846.1.

This is the feedback that I have sent :

I find the language used in Note 558846.1 : 1. Unclear
2. Arrogant or dismissive

The Symptoms section states
"Running a SQL script that returns a great amount of data on Windows"
while the Cause section, referring to Bug6867504 states
"On Windows if you issue highly recursive or very large SQL
statements you will blow the RDBMS stack"

Is the Bug logged against "a great amount of data" OR is it logged against "highly recursive SQL" OR is it logged against "very large SQL statement"

What is "a great amount of data" ? 5MB ? 500MB ? xx number of records ? Some figure with respect to a fixed Buffer Size ? What is "highly recursive SQL" ? One that makes 10 recursive calls ? One that makes 100 recursive calls ?
What is "very large SQL statement" ? One that has a text length of 5000 characters ? A length of 50000 characters ? A length of 5Mbytes ?

Is the langauge "blow the RDBMS stack" one that is used by a Technical Support person talking to a DBA/Developer ? What does it mean by "blow .. the stack" ? Should it be "exceed the hardcoded stack size of 1MB " ?

What is related to the stack size ? "a great amount of data" OR
"highly recursive SQL" OR "very large SQL statement" ?
WHERE is the problem ?

Is the solution section
"Note that any SQL statement that has a lot of repeated values is a
poor SQL and will probably cause such problems so it's best never to use such bad SQL and try to tune your queries. If you have a statement that will not work within the 5 MB stack that you have adjusted, you will never know what the correct results are anyway." a REAL WORLD Solution recommendation ? (and, by the way what is "a lot of repeated values" ? how many is "a lot" ?)

How does your analyst define "poor SQL" and "bad SQL" in the context of this particular Note and Bug ?
If I have an SQL statement that contains a very long INLIST such that it exceeds a certain size (what size ?) is it "poor SQL" or "bad SQL" ? And what does the analyst mean by "you will never know what the correct results are anyway" ? Is THAT the sort of response I expect from an RDBMS vendor ?

Hemant K Chitale


Received on Tue Mar 25 2008 - 10:55:56 CDT

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