A few years ago I raised an enhancement request for SQL Developer to add custom highlighting, specifically to “grey out” all the calls to logger throughout my code. I blogged about this here.
Oracle SQL Developer 18.3 adds this feature with PL/SQL Custom Syntax Rules – and the best thing is, these rules are enabled by default so you don’t have to do anything. Any calls to logger, dbms_output and apex_debug will be greyed out.
You can customise the colour for this rule in Tools -> Preferences -> Code Editor -> PL/SQL Syntax Colors – the one for logger etc. is called “PlSqlCustom2”:
You can view (and edit, if you want) the rule in PL/SQL Custom Syntax Rules:
I’m not very familiar with the syntax but you can add additional libraries by adding more lines like this to the rule:
| ?grandChild = 'MYCUSTOMLOGGER'
The only thing missing is that it doesn’t pick up the standard logger variable declarations (scope and params). I haven’t worked out how to include these in the rule yet.
UPDATE 11/10/2018 – new feature added in Oracle SQL Developer 18.3
Juergen Schuster, who has been enthusiastically trying OraOpenSource Logger, raised an idea for the debug/instrumentation library requesting the addition of a standard synonym “l” for the package. The motive behind this request was to allow our PL/SQL code to remain easy to read, in spite of all the calls to logger sprinkled throughout that are needed for effective debugging and instrumentation.
In the judgement of some (myself included) the addition of the synonym to the standard package would run the risk of causing clashes on some people’s systems; and ensuring that Logger is installable on all systems “out of the box” should, I think, take precedence.
However, the readability of code is still an issue; so it was with that in mind that I suggested that perhaps an enhancement of our favourite development IDE would go a long way to improving the situation.
Therefore, I have raised the following enhancement request at the SQL Developer Exchange:
Logger: show/hide or dim (highlight) debug/instrumentation code
“The oracle open source Logger instrumentation library is gaining popularity and it would be great to build some specific support for it into SQL Developer, whether as a plugin or builtin. To enhance code readability, it would be helpful for PL/SQL developers to be able to hide/show, or dim (e.g. grey highlight) any code calling their preferred debug/instrumentation library (e.g. Logger).
“One way I expect this might work is that the Code Editor would be given a configurable list of oracle object identifiers (e.g. “logger”, “logger_logs”); any PL/SQL declarations or lines of code containing references to these objects would be greyed out, or be able to be rolled up (with something like the +/- gutter buttons).”
Mockup #1 (alternative syntax highlighting option):
Mockup #2 (identifier slugs in header bar to show/hide, with icons in the gutter showing where lines have been hidden):
“Gold-plated” Option: add an option to the SQL Editor’s right-click context menu – on any identifier, select “Hide all lines with reference to this” and it adds the identifier to the list of things that are hidden!
If you like the idea (or at least agree with the motive behind it) please vote for it.
I’m starting to come around to Oracle SQL Developer. At home I only use free software so that’s obviously a big plus, but at work I’m still using PL/SQL Developer (Allround Automations) and SQL*Plus.
These are the features I like best about these products:
- Connection management
- Connection browser
- Multiple simultaneous connections
- Password persistance
- Quick connection switching within SQL worksheet
- Object viewer
- Easy Query management
- Nicer plan viewer
- Faster startup, smaller memory footprint
- Fully configurable object browser
- Re-order categories
- Create/modify/delete categories
- Colour coding
- Data browser
- Edit data directly in grid
- View data, including LOBs, e.g. RTF, XML, HTML, hex, etc.
- Window management
- Summary tab lists all windows, indicating which are unsaved or are currently running SQL
- Query management
- Runs DDL and DML in a second session, easy to cancel queries
- Smart SQL and PL/SQL Editing
- Context-sensitive menus
- Smarter, context-sensitive code suggestions
- Configurable SQL beautifier
- Session browser, configurable
I’d like to see Oracle work on some of these features before I switch over at work. I’d also like to see SQL Developer able to export LOBs when exporting tables to XML.
I upgraded Oracle SQL Developer from 220.127.116.11 to 18.104.22.168, just for the heck of it. Unfortunately, all my saved connections had disappeared! After a text search I found the connections are stored in a file called IDEConnections.xml under the folder sqldeveloper\jdev\system\oracle.onlinedb.22.214.171.124.25. I copied this across to a new folder that had been created (oracle.onlinedb.126.96.36.199.36) and bingo they’re back again.
Bonus – now I know what file to back up if I want to restore my connections later on.