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Since the site PSOUG changed we've had a lot of comments and inquiries about it. Most were along the lines of "What happened?", "Why all the changes?", and even, "Was the site hijacked??". We've had also quite a few comments about the new format, ranging from "Wow, nice job!" to "Echhhh, it's horrible!".

As for the different look and feel, we know that change is often hard and sometimes unsettling. We knew we'd get a variety of reactions to it and that not all of them would be positive. That's okay, we're interested in your thoughts and criticism both positive and negative.

So, what happened to the site?
First and foremost, there has been lots of talk about how the site was "stolen", "hijacked", or "comandeered". The PSOUG.org site has been owned by the same person from the day it was registered on June 12th, 2003. When some of the principal members of PSOUG went their separate ways, the owner of the domain decided to make better use of the site, take it in some new directions, and expand it in several ways.

Will you still support Oracle?
In a word, "Absolutely". The strong support for Oracle won't change, in fact we hope to support the Oracle community even more than we have in the past. This includes making an Oracle "Jobs Board" available to help programmers and DBAs locate work and a community forum where people can talk, debate, and discuss Oracle topics (as well as anything else that's on their mind).

But wait, there's more...
We don't plan on stopping there, however. We've made arrangements for online training classes in partnership with SQLUniversity that we think will benefit everyone. The online training will feature well-known experts such as Joe Celko, Steven Lewis, and others. These classes will be affordable and most importantly, will be available "on demand" so you won't be tethered to a PC at all hours of the day and night.

You can participate in the training whenever it's convenient for you, and you can view the classes and lessons as often as you want, pause and restart them, rewind and re-watch them, etc. And this will all happen when you want it to, according to your schedule. Stay tuned for more on this. :)

We also have plans to offer live, on-site training classes, starting within the next couple of months. We'll have an announcement with more details shortly.

What about the look and feel?
Frankly, for a site that is all about databases it was kind of ironic (okay, embarassing) that we didn't have a single database in use on the site. It was time to move forward. Although we love Oracle and support it fully, it was time for a change. We're in the process of transferring the content to a fast, searchable database-backed system that we think you'll like once you give it a try. All of the code samples now feature full lexical and syntactical highlighting, with links to the main Oracle reference libraries.

For example, take the keyword "SELECT". Click on it and you're taken to oracle.com, right into the Oracle Database Search Results page, where you can drill down and get more detailed technical information. Try it.

All of the keywords, clauses, parameters, etc are highlighted. This may not be of as much use to long-time Oracle users but it's a great help to new users and anyone who wants to expand their skills and knowledge of Oracle.

What's all that other stuff? PHP? Perl? Javascript?
It may come as a surprise, but PL/SQL isn't the only programming language out there! In fact lots of Oracle users have a need to combine one or more other languages with their Oracle expertise. PHP is the fastest growing language on the web and it supports Oracle fully, with lots of hooks into Oracle's database functions. So we felt it would be of benefit to everyone to support it as well. Other languages, like Javascript and Perl also have their place, so we've made a place for them too. But as always, Oracle is our main squeeze. :)

Questions? Comments?
We're sure you have them. To give you a voice we've opened up a community forum so you can speak your peace and have your say. Debate and argument, even very, very spirited argument is welcome. All we ask is that you keep it civil and refrain from personal attacks. Fair enough?

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