When oracle quoted the classics…

Some days ago an l Oracle7TM Server Concepts Manual fell into my hands and I remembered that each chapter started with a classic quote, some of them absolutely brilliant. I leave these quotations summarized below.


Oracle maintained the quotes in the manuals of versions 8 / 8i, removing them from 9i upwards. And, in case anyone should come to doubt it, the quote on the chapter “3 Tablespaces and Datafiles” is, without a doubt, a classic … having clarified this, live long and prosper.


1 Introduction to the Oracle Server

I am Sir Oracle,

and when I ope my lips, let no dog bark.

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice



2 Data Blocks, Extents, and Segments

He was not merely a chip of the old block, but the old block itself.

Edmund Burke, On Pitt’s first speech



3 Tablespaces and Datafiles

Space – the final frontier…

Gene Roddenberry, Star Trek



4 The Data Dictionary

LEXICOGRAPHER – A writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge.

Samuel Johnson, Dictionary



5 Database and Instance Startup and Shutdown

Greetings, Prophet; The Great Work begins: The Messenger has arrived.

Tony Kushner, Angels in America, Part I



6 Memory Structures

Yea, from the table of my memory I’ll wipe away all trivial fond records.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet



7 Process Structure

If the good people, in their wisdom, shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined.

Abraham Lincoln, Address at New Salem (1832)



8 Schema Objects

My object all sublime I shall achieve in time – To let the punishment fit the crime.

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert, The Mikado



9 Partitioned Tables and Indexes

Like to a double cherry, seeming parted, but yet an union in partition; two lovely berries molded on one stem.

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer-Night’s Dream



10 Built-In Datatypes

I am the voice of today, the herald of tomorrow. … I am the leaden army that conquers the world – I am TYPE.

Frederic William Goudy, The Type Speaks



11 User-Defined Datatypes (Objects Option)

We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world.

James William Fulbright, Speech in the Senate (1964)



12 Using User-Defined Datatypes

It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.

René Descartes, Le Discours de la Méthode



13 Object Views

The choice of a point of view is the initial act of a culture.

José Ortega y Gasset, The Modern Theme



14 SQL and PL/SQL

High thoughts must have high language.

Aristophanes, Frogs



15 Transaction Management

The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others.

George Orwell. Animal Farm



16 Advanced Queuing

Many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Matthew 19:30, The Bible



17 Procedures and Packages

We’re dealing here with science, but it is science which has not yet been fully codified by scientific minds. What we have are the memoirs of poets and occult adventurers…

Anne Rice, The Tale of the Body Thief


18 Database Triggers

You may fire when you are ready, Gridley.

George Dewey, At the battle of Manila Bay



19 Oracle Dependency Management

Whoever you are – I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire



20 The Optimizer

I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end.

Abraham Lincoln


21 Direct-Load INSERT

The translator of Homer should above all be penetrated by a sense of four qualities of his author: that he is eminently rapid; that he is eminently plain and direct … both in his syntax and in his words; that he is eminently plain and direct in the substance of his thought, …; and, finally, that he is eminently noble.

Matthew Arnold, On Translating Homer



22 Parallel Execution

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.

Alfred North Whitehead: An Introduction to Mathematics



23 Data Concurrency and Consistency

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.

Ralph Waldo Emerson



24 Data Integrity

Does one’s integrity ever lie in what he is not able to do?

Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood



25 Controlling Database Access

Allow me to congratulate you, sir. You have the most totally closed mind that I’ve ever encountered!

Jon Pertwee (as the Doctor), Frontier in Space


 26 Privileges and Roles

My right and my privilege to stand here before you has been won – won in my lifetime – by the blood and the sweat of the innocent.

Jesse Jackson, Speech at the Democratic National Convention, 1988



27 Auditing

You can observe a lot by watching.

Yogi Berra



28 Database Recovery

These unhappy times call for the building of plans…

Franklin Delano Roosevelt



29 Distributed Processing

We must try to trust one another. Stay and cooperate.

Jomo Kenyatta



30 Distributed Databases

Good sense is of all things in the world the most equally distributed, for everybody thinks he is so well supplied with it, that even the most difficult to please in all other matters never desire more of it than they already possess.

René Descartes, Le Discours de la Méthode



31 Database Replication

Lady, you are the cruel’st she alive, If you will lead these graces to the grave And leave the world no copy.

William Shakespeare, Twelfth-Night

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