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9 reasons why the new Metalink is bad

Chuck Edwards | | December 2, 2009

I know I’m not alone, and I know I’m not the first to express displeasure, but let me just say:


I’m going to call the new Metalink “Metaflash.”  Seems like a good name for it.  It combines “meta” and “flash” which sounds really hip and technical, yet communicates nothing.  Kind of like shoving “i” or “e” in front of a product name so we unwashed legions of IT morons will know the e/i-product works with the Internet, or attaching every imaginable adjective to“grid” and “cloud” until we’re all ready to heave our lunch onto our keyboards.

But back to why Metaflash is bad:

  1. It’s costing my customers money and my team time.  Every time I have to sit and wait for that stupid wheel to spin and spin – spewing all the benefits of Metaflash at me because I really do need to be reminded – only to realize I’m caught in a flash loop, I get nothing done.  I guess I could catch up on other things while my customer waits for an answer or a patch.
  2. Can anyone find anything in the Metaflash version of Certify?  As far as I can tell, nothing is certified with anything anymore, because all I get are blank pages.  I know, I know, I haven’t taken the training.  Whatever that means.  I’m sure the UI folks at Amazon make the same excuse to Jeff Bezos when some untested pile of “code” turns the online buying experience into 12th century dental surgery.  Stupid customers.
  3. Why, oh why is my FTP site gone for downloading patches??  Don’t give me that wget crap, either; did anyone at Oracle try to right-click on the “download” button using Safari?  The link doesn’t work.  It just doesn’t.  Even if it did, with wget, I’d be spraying my Metaflash username and password all over the command line for anyone with permission to use “ps” to see.  Not to mention my shell history.  Not to mention (part2) that now I have to highlight and cut-and-paste and type a silly-long command where before I could simply type “get”. Nice.  Efficient.  Big improvement.
  4. And another thing about patches:  I tried to view a README this morning.  “No permission to see this page,” was the message I received.  I can download the patch, but apparently the instructions are classified.  The good news is I can log a TAR if I think I received that message in error.
  5. Speaking of logging a TAR, I logged one yesterday.  Tried to view an update this morning.  Server error.  All morning.  Can’t get in.  At.  All.  (See #1 above)
  6. Just to chime in with everyone else:  It’s slow.  Really slow.  When it’s up, that is.  Great advertising for all of the highly-available, highly-scalable, grid-esque products from Oracle.  A marketing master class.
  7. Has anyone else made the mistake of hitting their browser’s back button after selecting an article for reading?  One awesome Metaflash feature is that if you – seemingly at any time – use your browser’s back button, you re-load the entire site.  From the beginning.  Stupid flash wheel and all.  the whoooooole enchilada.
  8. For some reason I can’t seem to cut and paste even when I want to anymore (see complaint in #3 above). Anyone tried to highlight something on an article to copy it into a terminal window?  Is this just a Safari problem?  Isn’t Safari supported anymore?  Did I miss that memo?
  9. Best of all, article content is occasionally different between Metalink and Metaflash.  No, I’m not kidding.  One example is document 125767.1 “Upgrading Developer 6i with Oracle Applications 11i.”  The Metaflash version is missing steps that Metalink displayed.  How can that be?  It’s the same document ID for Larry’s sakes!  I don’t know how or why, but now we don’t have the plain old un-flashy Metalink for a sanity check.  If something doesn’t work, just log a TAR!  (If Metaflash is up, that is.)

If this sounds too much like a rant, it’s nothing compared to the first few drafts.  I had time to write and revise several times while waiting for the flash wheel to stop spinning.

Related post:  Working with Oracle Support

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