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Oracle PL/SQL Programming, 5th Edition by Bill Pribyl, Steven Feuerstein

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Creating and Editing Source Code

These days, programmers have many, many choices for code editors, from the simplest text editor to the most exotic development environments. And they do make very different choices. One of the authors of this book, Steven Feuerstein, is rather addicted to the Toad IDE. He is a very typical user, familiar with perhaps only 10% of all the functionality and buttons, but relying heavily on those features. Bill Pribyl, on the other hand, describes himself as “something of an oddball in that I like to use a fairly plain text editor to write PL/SQL programs. My one concession is that it automatically indents code as I type, and it displays keywords, comments, literals, and variables in different colors.”

The most sophisticated programmer’s editors will do much more than indentation and keyword coloring; they will also offer graphical debuggers, perform keyword completion, preview subprograms of packages as you type their name, display subprogram parameters, and highlight the specific row and column where the compiler reported an error. Some editors also have “hyperlinking” features that allow you to quickly browse to the declaration of a variable or subprogram. But the need for most of these features is common across many compiled languages.

What is unique about PL/SQL is the fact the source code for stored programs must be loaded into the database before it can be compiled and executed. This in-database copy can usually be retrieved by a programmer who has ...

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