I’ve often said 1995 was the year lots of things changed forever. It was March of 1995 that I last used Forms to develop any applications. It was the year that client server just totally died in my eyes.
Much as Matthew described in that blog entry – I distinctly remember the first time I got (as in understood) this web thing – it was 1995. Way back in 1990/1991 – I was introduced to HTML for the first time. I was working on a heavy SGML project and this guy Dave Seaman who ran this small startup company at the time – InfoDesign – was sure this HTML thing would take off big time. Yeah, right says I (such the futurist). Sure enough – not too long after, it did.
I remember clearly when I first got it. We had these brown bag technology lunches at Oracle where other sales consultants would get up and over lunch describe some new technology that was up and coming. One day in early 1995 – Ty Eckard, a friend and co-worker of mine, got up on the 13th floor of the Bethesda Metro Center building we were brought in for a brown bag lunch and talked about HTML. Boooorrrring I thought – until he did this “cgi-bin” thing. Oh, did that get my attention. Big time.
I got a web server (NCSA) later that very afternoon and started playing. It was the beginning of the end. I was into Forms in a large way back then – I could make it do anything I wanted. But this web thing just took over in my mind. I couldn’t do things nearly as “pretty” with HTML (the blink tag was pretty exciting) – but I could do things and let everyone have at them immediately. That year – when many others went away on our sales club – I set up an internal web server called Aria (my daughter Megan was born in August, my wife Lori wasn’t wanting to travel in June). It was on an old piece of Solbourne hardware, but it worked.
We just retired Aria this month – a little over ten years later. Inside Oracle – Aria is a “known name” – it hosted the “Aria people search” (wrote about that application in Expert One on One Oracle) and people still call it the Aria people search. Even now that it is hosted on a “data center machine”, it is still the “Aria people search”. Funny how a little application like that – that suddenly gets 7 hits per second, every second, every day pretty much, 24 hours a day can change things.
1995 was the year that HTML-DB was born as well – believe it or not. Mike Hichwa (the guy that owns HTML-DB and Raptor inside of Oracle) first started down the path of getting to HTML-DB that year. We did version 0.00001 using nothing more than SQL*Plus as a cgi-bin application – it worked pretty well actually. A lot has changed since then.
It doesn’t seem like a decade since then – but it is.