Thursday, October 30, 2008

From Carl's Mother

Carl's sister Cyndi asked me to share this message from Carl's mother, Susan:

....a very sincere heartfelt thank you everyone for all the caring words coming our way from Carl's internet 'family'.. please know that your words are read and are a comfort to us at this terrible time... his sisters will be writing more later.

Love to all,

Carl's Mom .. Susan

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Carl Backstrom = WYSIWYG

This posting isn't about Oracle Application Express. It's merely some simple thoughts about our good friend, Carl Backstrom.

I paid attention to the pages of postings on the APEX OTN discussion forum about Carl. Some are from people whom Carl helped once or twice. Others, Carl tirelessly helped many times. Very few of these people actually met Carl, yet they were affected by his death - he touched them in some positive way. I received e-mail from others who only met Carl once or twice, and even they admitted they were affected by this, and couldn't quite pinpoint why. Well...I'll tell you why.

Carl was the definition of WYSIWYG. There was no air about Carl. He was not pretentious in any way. He did not have an agenda. He was not artificial. He was very human and authentic. His omnipresent positive attitude and enthusiasm were sincere and infectious. He was someone you enjoyed being around, someone you wanted to be around. He possessed an intangible, endearing quality.

I enjoyed that Carl was ever so unassuming. If you met Carl for the first time, you might have thought that he's some nice casual fellow who also likes to be a skater in his spare time (turns out, he was a snowboarder). Little would you know that what underlaid his visage was one of the brightest, hardest-working, most creative and visionary minds on the planet when it comes to AJAX, JavaScript, Web 2.0, Web design, RIA - whatever you want to call it. I am not embellishing this fact.

Carl's greatest character flaw, as I see it, was that he could rarely if ever say "no" to someone who was seeking his help. He was always ready to assist someone, no matter who they were, no matter the size of the problem, big or small. What a wonderful "flaw" to have. It is something I can only hope to aspire to.

I shall miss him dearly.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Carl Backstrom

As has already been mentioned on the APEX OTN forum and other places on the Internet, our good friend and colleague, Carl Backstrom, passed away on Sunday, 26-OCT-2008.

I spoke with Carl's family last evening. I should have more details later this week, but his family is tentatively planning on a memorial service sometime next week in Riverside, CA. Additionally, his sister said that they're thinking of setting up a trust fund for Carl's daughter, in lieu of flowers or cards. I'll post these details as I get them.

Carl was simply a great guy who touched so many people in such a positive way.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Book for Oracle Application Express and Oracle Forms developers

As most folks already know, the next release of Application Express is 3.2. The primary (and almost sole) new feature in Application Express 3.2 will be Oracle Forms Conversion. This was discussed and demonstrated at Oracle Open World 2008 in San Francisco in September.

When I was at Oracle Open World 2008, I had the good fortune of meeting James Lumsden from Packt Publishing. As it turns out, Packt Publishing is starting a book on Oracle Application Express for Oracle Forms Developers. "It will be a title that shows Forms developers how to ‘get things done’ in Apex, in a practical hands-on way, but with regular cross-reference to their established development techniques, practices and approaches."

Why am I writing about this? Because Packt Publishing is interested in talking to you if you have a desire to contribute to this type of book. If you're interested in further exploring this opportunity, please contact James Lumsden at

* Note: I have no relationship with Packt Publishing. I have contributed to books from Wrox Press and Apress but never Packt, so I cannot give any positive or negative feedback.