My partner in this project, as in all things, is my wife, Alison Adams. If you appreciate this book, then it is to Alison that your thanks are due. Much as I have tried to limit the impact of researching and writing this book on my family, this project has deprived Alison and our young children, Jennifer, Stephanie, and David of much time that would otherwise have been spent with them.
I would also like to thank Guy Harrison, who first got me interested in Oracle performance, Jonathan Lewis, from whom I have learned the most, Dave Ensor, who corrected my understanding of immediate gets, and Jared Still, who has always been willing to run tests to check my ideas. Thank you, friends, for your help with reviewing the first draft of each chapter, and for your constant encouragement. Thanks also to the many people with whom I have interacted on the Internet mailing lists and discussion forums over the years. You have provided a wealth of vicarious experience and sustained encouragement in my quest to understand Oracle.
Thanks to the team at O’Reilly & Associates for agreeing to publish this book, and for their work in preparing it, and thanks to the team of final reviewers: Jonathan Gennick, Amjad Daoud, and Anjo Kolk.